Dec 20, 2014

The Donkey in the Living Room by Sarah Raymond Cunningham :: Review

The Donkey in the Living Room - written by Sarah Raymond Cunningham and illustrated by Michael Foster, is a modern approach to the nativity advent tradition.

The story opens with an invitation for your family to use this book to begin a new tradition. The author explains how each morning, starting nine days before Christmas, the children in her family would rush downstairs to find a figure wrapped in paper.  They'd open it to discover a character from the nativity scene.  After opening the little package, their father would tell them a part of the story of Christ's birth but told from the point of view of the character that was unwrapped that morning.

The author shares with us, how over time, she began to realize that the true gift of Christmas was not the figures unwrapped each morning but the telling of the story of the birth of Christ.

The rest of the book is the guide for parents to read to their children, telling their little ones Christ's birth story and all from the points of view of the various 'characters' that were present at that blessed time.

The whole story is written in rhyme and in today's language and slang, including phrases such as, "As Mary's belly was getting ready to pop..." and "The shepherds didn't know what had just hit,".   Not your usual telling of the Christmas story but not with out it's accuracy as well.

I liked how it touched on things such as the census being taken and why Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem.  I enjoyed the fact that the author included the importance of Christ's coming leading to His death and resurrection.  She really tried to keep the focus that this time of year is to be about remembering who Christ is and what He did for us!

I certainly loved the illustrations!  They are bright, cheery and fun!  I love the people and the animals are adorable.  Each day has a full coloured picture and also a smaller illustration to give you an idea of where in the stable to place each character...not to mention a few other details.

Over-all, The Donkey in the Living Room is certainly cute and catchy but not exactly for my family and I.  Partially because we already have our own advent countdown and this offered nothing especially new for us.

But if you have young children, (or even for the grand babies) and are looking for something a bit different or just a way to start your own nativity tradition, then this just might be the book for you!  You can also order the book with the matching ten wooden characters, here.


And if you haven't been counting down the days....there are only five more sleeps!!

The good people at B&H Publishing gave me this book in exchange for my honest review.


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