Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Review: The Girl Who Found Christmas by Barbara Escher

Thanksgiving is this week! I have to keep telling myself this because it really snuck up on me this year. It's not that I'm unprepared...I have the entire meal planned and ingredients purchased (although I'm not sure how I managed that)...but it's rolling in too quick. But that also means Advent is almost here. We do keep this period special through several traditions, not excluding Advent's calendars and special thoughts for each day. I was lucky enough to be approached with today's book, which has a story time for each day leading up to the 25th of December. It's got a girl with spunk, fun adventures, contemplates the true meaning of Christmas, and is has exactly the right amount of reading for sharing a few moments together. Anyway, here it is and enjoy taking a look!

An Advent Calendar Storybook

A Unique Christmas Mystery for Kids!

Bet you don't think there's anything mysterious about a snowman!! But hold onto your hat. Snowmen are just the beginning of a mystery adventure for six-year-old Belinda, and for your kids too!! Every day in Advent, Belinda draws a clue as she tries to solve the mystery of "What It Is That Makes It Christmas." She thinks it's pretty tough. "No treasure map, no frankincense, no presents What kind of mystery is that?"

Every day brings a new story and a new clue. If it's not the snowman, what about the Christmas tree? Or the stockings? If your children have a crayon, a piece of paper, and some imagination, they can gather round you to listen to a new story every day and join Belinda in drawing each clue and solving the mystery that is Christmas.

Lucky for Belinda, she has special help. It's somebody she calls "Howard" (like "Howard be Thy name"). He's a big help as Belinda finds her way from the snowman to the manger.


A snowman, a mystery, and the meaning of Christmas swirl together in a exciting read, which reveals fun and the warmth of the holiday season.

Belinda can't believe her eyes—the calendar shows it's finally December! While there's tons of reasons to celebrate...and she does...she still misses her mom, who is miles and miles away at work. Luckily, her parents and grandfather have set-up something special. Belinda needs to figure out what makes Christmas Christmas, and every day she gets a very unexpected clue.

I love the spunk and energy Belinda radiates on every page. This is a girl full of life, curiosity, and the cleverest questions. Only her constant 'Oh boy!' irritates a bit. But she's adorable and exactly the kind of girl any kid would love to live next door to because there's never, ever a boring moment when she's involved. Her family is also packed with love and care, creating a truly wholesome environment while illustrating the stress the modern business world can place on families (her mother is miles away and only visits through Skype). 

This is a fun tale with a new twist and clue for every single one of the Advent days. Each read is a few pages long, making it perfect for a short, shared reading time between parents and children (or even in other groups). The clues do lead in unexpected directions, and it is fun to see what each day will bring. 

There's obviously a ton of meaning and several messages woven in as Belinda tries to figure out what makes Christmas Christmas. Now, Belinda does have a super good grip on Jesus' birth from the first page on...yep, this one is a lovely Christian read. And she has a very close relationship with our Lord, who she calls 'Howard'. This did strike me a little weird, at first, but she gets the name from a slight misunderstanding—"Howard be Thy Name". And after a second thought, I had to smile because I remember have a similar issue in the early years of school, when we said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning.."...and to the Republic for Witches stand...". It took years for me to figure out why those witches were there. So, I have to give Kudos to the author for adding this because it makes Belinda very human.

But these stories are super cute, definitely hold attention, and explore the wonders of Christmas through the adventure of a spunky girl. In other words, I can really recommend this one.

And here she is...

Barbara Escher grew up in Philadelphia and loved seeing her city come alive with light and sparkle and color as Christmas approached each year. She read every book she could get her hands on, including Christmas favorites like The Night Before Christmas. 

She never lost that childhood love for Christmas, and today she often looks back on special Christmas memories, like much loved books she received as Christmas gifts.  She also remembers years she spent teaching and creating stories. First for every kid on her block. And later for a classroom and her own children. And she especially remembers how much her children loved their Advent Calendar and looked forward to it every year! 

One day Barbara decided that she wanted to share a story that had been in her head for a long time. That story book became The Girl Who Found Christmas. It was important to her as she wrote the story that kids have both the traditional Christmas and the spiritual one. In her words the magic and the manger!

 Today, Barbara lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband and Hope, their funny Havanese dog. She still loves Christmas and delights in decorating her Christmas tree with ornaments made by her children long ago. When Barbara isn’t writing, she spends time dipping her toes in the waves at the Gulf beaches and spending time with her children, grandchildren and grand pets (three dogs, three cats, and a turtle named Michelangelo). 

For more information about Barbara and The Girl Who Found Christmas, visit www.RedMittenBooks.com


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Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19660446.Barbara_Escher

WEBSITE: https://redmittenbooks.com

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