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Sunday, 18 December 2011
*whistles innocently*
What? Days 16 and 17? Did I miss those...
Yes, yes I did.

But I am here with Day 18 of our book a day holiday reading extravaganza~!

This one was an 'on sale' book I picked up last year.
Rowan loved it last year, but this year... it made her cry.

The Most Precious Gift by Marty Crisp and illustrated by Cooper Floyd, is the tale of a boy, Ameer, traveling with the Kings to see Jesus.  On his journey he agonizes over what gift he can give to the child, while simultaneously recollecting his relationship with his dog, Ra.  When he arrives in Bethlehem, he decides to give his dog to the holy family.

Yes, it is the giving of his beloved pet to the child that left my daughter, dog lover, in tears.

She felt the pain of Ameer in leaving his best friend, but she also understood the wonder of giving all that you have to another~ and how painful that may be, no matter how right the decision.
Which brought more tears... but tears mean snuggles and we had a close family time and some thoughtful discussion ♥.

On the whole, the book leaves me a little cold~ it does pull at the heartstrings, I like having a book with the characters of the story illustrated as eastern rather than western peoples,  and I appreciate a good midrashic turn on the traditional tale.

But once the boy arrives in Bethlehem, the story takes on an odd contrived feeling, with swarming crowds ALL bringing rich gifts, a bouncer, a half-hearted king and a precociously theological Mary.  If the boy had simply offered his dog, we would have gotten the point, without all of the hammy exegesis to bog it down.

{{Speaking of hammy exegesis.... Insert internal replay of the manger scene from The Life of Brian~ "a bomb? what'dya give him a bomb for?!"}}

I love the idea of this one and I want to like it more than I actually do, so we will definitely give it another chance.


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