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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011
The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived.  ~Howard Pyle
We have been reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer Boy at bedtime for the last week or two and although I am sure I only read it once, enjoying Laura's own stories more than those of Almanzo (no matter how deep my crush on Dean Butler  who played Almanzo Wilder in the tv series), every tale, every illustration lands me back in my childhood, curled up with a book in the lamp light.

And tonight we found a new classic to enjoy.

I purchased Humphrey's First Christmas online, on a whim.
(It looked appealing, and as a softcover book, the price was appealing, too!).
When it arrived, I put it into its bag for our Christmas reading project, resisting the urge to read it right away.
Now this could have gone very badly, as with last year's cold reading of The Little Match Girl (which I will discuss when we hit that one this year!).
But it didn't.

From beginning to end, this book was an absolute delight.
Pure joy, for parents and child.

Told from Humphrey's point of view, we follow his journey to Bethlehem and witness his change of heart.
His voice is clear and oh-so-camel.
And the illustrations.
Oh my.
Stunning ~ well, if close-ups of a camel's face are 'stunning', I am not sure if that is the right word, but you will appreciate all of the amazing, weird, useful glory of the camel in these eyes shining, humour filled illustrations of Humphrey on his quest to get a new blanket for himself.

Every page was a delight.

While the book is based on the Christian story of the three wise men, it is even more a story of a change from self-centeredness to generosity in the presence of vulnerable humanity, something we can all appreciate and learn from the bewhiskered Humphrey.
(Can you spot him in the illustration below?)
 We have a new family classic, for sure.
And my next stop is going to be Google to find out what other works author and illustrator Carol Heyer has to offer! ♥♥


Carol Heyer said...

I was so excited to read your blog and see Humphrey listed as your new Family Classic! It was also wonderful to hear that you loved the story from beginning to end! I've done retelling of stories before, but Humphrey was my first original. The sequel for Humphrey, Humphrey's Palm Sunday will be released this spring. Thanks again for liking my grumpy camel!

Merry Christmas!

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