God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren

November 30, 2009 | By | 1 Comment

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.Romans 1:20

Synopsis (complements of  Waterbrook press): As Little Cub and her family prepare to celebrate the most special day of the year, the curious young polar bear begins to wonder… “Who invented Christmas?” Mama’s answer only leads to more questions like “Is God more important than Santa?” So she and Little Cub head off on a polar expedition to find God and to see how he gave them Christmas. Along the way, they find signs that God is at work all around them. Through Mama’s gentle guidance, Little Cub learns about the very first Christmas and discovers that… Jesus is the best present of all. This enchanting tale provides the perfect opportunity to help young children celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and to discover how very much God loves them.

Review (mine): This is a beautiful little book.  The artwork is wonderful and draws in the reader.  Though not real, the winter landscapes are breathtaking.  They are beautiful.  And, that is a major theme of this book – God’s invisible qualities are clearly seen by what he has made.  While Santa is hard to find, God is everywhere.

This leads to a second theme of this book – Christmas is about God and not Santa.  The book treats this matter in a sensitive fashion.  It does not come out and say that Santa does not exist, but downplays his importance.  Santa is a model of generosity and care, but God and Jesus are to be celebrated most.  Mama guides Little Cub with her wisdom in a kind, loving and gentle way.1

One criticism is that the book seemed choppy at points.  For example, Little Cub asks, “Can we leave them at home.”  At first, it was a little unclear who Little Cub was hoping to leave behind.  Also, there was no clarification as to why Little Cub wanted to go alone.  Another minor criticism is that some of the pages are harder to read as the dark print blends in with the darker illustrations.

Overall, I found this to be a lovely little book for young children.  It can also serve as a launching pad into a meaningful discussion as to the meaning of Christmas.

Rating: 4/5

UPDATE:  Here is what my friend (who reads way more children’s book than I do) had to say.  Actually, probably everyone reads way more children’s books than I do.  I did read Goodnight Moon a few times though.  I liked that one!  Okay, I’m rambling.  I got a kick out of this and it is great to get another viewpoint from an expert.  Here is what she had to say:

I wanted to let you know that I disagree with your review of “God Gave Us Christmas.” Matthew got it for Christmas last year from a relative, and I have the chore of reading it to him periodically. While I do enjoy the illustrations and can see the point of the book, I thought it was poorly written and found Little Cub to be hugely irritating. And you’re right, some parts were confusing (like about the siblings staying home). Of all the kids books I’ve read lately – which is probably about 7,800 – this one scores a D-. Thought you should know. : )

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the award-winning author of nearly thirty titles, totaling more than 1.5 million books in print. She writes in a broad range of genres, from adult fiction to devotional. God Gave Us Christmas follows in Lisa’s classic tradition of the best-selling God Gave Us You. She lives in Colorado, with her husband, Tim, and their children, Olivia, Emma, and Jack.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. To learn more about or purchase this book at RandomHouse.com, click here.

  1. For more on the delicate coverage of Santa Claus, check out this excellent post and touching letter: The Santa Claus Dilemma
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  1. God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren | Leaving a Mark | December 1, 2009

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