Read and Share: The Story of Christmas by Gwen Ellis and illustrated by Steve Smallman is an easy-to-read children's book focusing on the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, starting with the birth of John, and ending with the return of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph from Egypt. Each part of the story includes colorful child-friendly pictures, the location of the Bible verses being retold, and at the end of each story is a question or statement for the child to consider in digesting and soaking in the story. The end of the book features a creative "Can You Retell the Story?" activity, which mixes up pictures from the story and asks the child to put the pictures in the correct order and retell the story. The book would be appropriate for children from preschool age through 3rd grade.
The book also includes a DVD with six stories from the life of Jesus. The first two chapters in the DVD correspond with the stories in the book about the birth of John the Baptist and the birth of Jesus. But the DVD also includes several more events from later in Jesus's life, including his being tempted by Satan (portrayed by a body with an invisible head in the DVD), several of his miracles (including bringing Lazarus back from the dead), and his love for children. The DVD stories are from the Read and Share DVD Bible, another title at Thomas Nelson.
We liked the book. The stories are a bit short, so we typically read two at a time (my kids are 2 and 4). The illustrations are reminiscent of children's cartoons--colorful and cute. The DVD is not the highest quality, but it is entertaining enough, and when accessed by computer there are a handful of printable coloring pages (mostly animals) provided. This would be a wonderful gift idea for any young child on your Christmas list.
★★★★ Rating: 4/5 Stars
**We were given a copy of this book for review through the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger program (for more information on my reviews, please view my disclosure policy).**