I was so excited to receive this new book in exchange for my honest review. A book that combines The Book of Mormon and Christmas should be wonderful!
I pulled it out one night, and read it to my children. My two oldest kids paid attention the whole way through, while my youngest wandered around.
I asked my 10-year-old how he liked the book. He had a really hard time responding. He just said that he didn’t know. So, I went on to my 4-year-old. He said that he liked all the pages!
I had my oldest, Casey, look at the book again to give me his honest feedback. He said that it was a good Christmas tale that makes you happy. He also liked how the thoughts and memories were shown through the words and pictures. He was surprised, though, that a book about Christmas did not have any mention of Jesus.
I also had the same issue with the book. Why wasn’t Jesus in it? Also, based on the title, I would have expected “Papa” to explain the purpose of the Book of Mormon and how it can help us see the true meaning of Christmas. I was hoping that he would have said why The Book of Mormon was important to him, and what it actually was, other than a book with gold letters. (To learn more about The Book of Mormon, please read these blog posts I have written: http://bit.ly/1W2dNWd and http://bit.ly/1MyQDfI.)
In the book, Papa said that the book saved his Christmas one year, but the answer was lackluster. He did mention reading about a man named Nephi during a troubling, cold Christmas day when he was at war. But, that was all.
Furthermore, the book was very wordy. Every little thing was spelled out. It read almost like a novel, not a children’s book. A book with pictures does not need every little movement spelled out. These little movements took up more words than the actual story did.
One redeeming quality is that the illustrations were really cute. The little girl, Alice, was enchanting, although my son and I were wondering why she spent Christmas morning with her Papa instead of her parents.
The author tried to make a book that would be profound in a sweet, tender way. She just missed a lot of great teaching opportunities.
I would try reading it for the adorable art work, and for the tender ending. What Papa gives little Alice for Christmas, though not surprising, is indeed a blessing for her. It is comforting that although Alice speaks to Santa before bed, that when she wakes, she enjoys Christmas not for her toys, but for something much more precious.