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Number of Pages: 32
Publication Date: 2008
|Dimensions: 10.75 X 9 (inches)|
Dandi Daley Mackall loves God, children, words, and animals. Her nearly 500 books for children and grown-ups have sold more than four million copies worldwide. She won the ECPA Christian Book Award for Best Childrens Book 2015 and multiple Moms Choice Awards, as well as ALA Best Book, NY Public Library Top Pick, Childrens Book Council Award of Excellence, and the Helen Keating Ott Award for Contributions to Childrens Literature. Her novel My Boyfriends Dogs is now a Hallmark Movie. Dandi writes from rural Ohio, where she lives with her family, including horses, dogs, cats, and an occasional squirrel, deer, or raccoon.
Deborah Chabrian was born in Illinois into a large creative family where holidays were always made special. Her artistic talents have taken her from"The Best Bunny" in kindergarten, to graduating with honors from Parsons School of Design in NYC, to painting 500 book covers and hundreds of still life paintings and winning many awards. She now lives in a 200-year-old farmhouse in rural Connecticut with her artist husband, Ed Martinez; children, Oliver and Gabriella; and miscellaneous cats, hamsters, and fish.
This time, however, we have an unrhymed, detailed narrative that encompasses history, religion, and a coming-of-age story. Young Jack and his mother are doing their best to make ends meet during the Great Depression. Jacks father jumps on a freight train to see if he can find work in another town, and it now seems that he wont be making it back home for Christmas.
To help create a festive mood for the holidays, Jacks mom pulls together her meager supplies of flour, sugar, and other baking goods and starts making special angel cookies.
As Jack helps pour the dough into the wooden angel molds, his mother tells him that this tradition started in the Middle Ages, when Jacks fathers ancestors would carve angel molds, make cookies, decorate them with berries and brown sugar and then take them to needy people. As they distributed them, they would tell the story of the angels who announced the birth of the Christ child and how he came to save mankind from its sins. As they finish, Mom announces that she has saved one large cookie just for Jack. He is ecstatic over this news. But then a knock is heard at the door. An unemployed, starving man asks if there is any food he can have. Jacks mom gives the man some leftover breakfast food from that morning, and the man devours it ravenously. He thanks them and leaves. Suddenly, Jack grabs his cookie, chases the man, hands the cookie to him and says, Its yours. And theres a story that goes with it. He then witnesses to the man.
Besides being a delightful story filled with Christian virtues of being my brothers keeper, the book also has phenomenal artwork by Deborah Chabrian. The fresh baked cookies are brown and steamy, making you think you could taste them. The outside snowflakes are crisp and breezy, with winter scenes frigid and sharp. This is surely one of those seasonal books that will not go out of date, but, instead, will be a treat to return to Christmas after Christmas. -- Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
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