Chris Mouse recalls her best Christmas ever: After putting her children to bed, she saw a beautiful star in the sky. Right after that a man and his pregnant wife came to stay in the humble stable where Chris and her family live. The woman gave birth that night to a very special baby, and when she whispered his name, Jesus, Chris knew this was the Promised Child she'd been told about all her life.
There are numerous re-tellings of the blessed birth of Christ in children's literature, and I'm always interested in checking out new ones. Chris Mouse and the Promise was a cute enough story of a mother mouse's reminiscence of the first Christmas, but I thought it was missing that little something extra to make it truly special. I realize this is a children's book and there is only so much one can do with such limited words, but I still couldn't help but feel the story needed a bit more development. As one example, Chris Mouse mentions the wise men visiting Jesus, but not the shepherds. I'm not a historical stickler when it comes to putting the wise men in the nativity, but considering that they most likely weren't there at the actual birth of Christ while the shepherds were, not including them seems a rather big omission. I don't think I've ever read a Christmas story before that left them out. I thought it could have been a bit more original too. After reading Chris Mouse and the Promise, I went to my bookshelf and found no less than three other children's books told from the perspective of animals who were present in the stable when Jesus was born.
The illustrations were also a bit different than what I'm used to seeing in a children's story. When it comes to picture books, the illustrations are half of what makes the book engaging in my opinion. The pictures in Chris Mouse and the Promise are very simplistically rendered, appearing to be pencil and crayon type drawings much like a child's artwork with a bit more sophistication. They appropriately complimented the story being told, but didn't really draw me any further into it.
Children are likely not going to be as particular as an adult reader like myself, so for anyone who is simply looking for something new to read with their young ones for the holiday season, Chris Mouse and the Promise may be the perfect choice. Those readers who are looking for gorgeous illustrations or a compelling story may want to borrow a copy first to make sure it is the right type of book for them and/or their children. Some of the pictures can also be viewed on the author's website. At a cover price of $16.95, it is a bit pricey for a paperback edition of a children's book. Usually, only hardcovers are that expensive. However, a signed copy can be purchased at Ms. Adams website for nearly $5.00 less including shipping.
Note: I received a copy of Chris Mouse and the Promise from the author via the publicist, Bostick Communications, in exchange for my review.
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