When my children were small, we used to pile on the couch, me in the middle with my daughter on my lap, and my four sons on either side, sometimes sitting on the top of the couch so they could get a better view of the pictures, and we would spend hours each evening reading stories. Those were wonderful moments for my family, and I do miss those storied evenings now that my children are so much older and read on their own.
So, when Anthony DeStefano asked me to take a look at his newest book for children, Little Star, and told me that it was about his effort to encapsulate the whole Christ story in the message of the incarnation, I was not only intrigued to see how he made that effort work, but I was also overcome with a sense of nostalgia for reading childrens books, and so I eagerly accepted his offer. I am very glad that I did!
When the book arrived in the mail, I quickly glanced through it and decided I would wait to read it until I could invite my two youngest children, Jack-12, and Mary-9, to read it with me. I wanted their viewpoints on the book as well, since it is intended for children. The three of us shared a relaxing evening as we enjoyed the artwork of Mark Elliott (we especially loved Little Star’s cowlick of hair!) and the enchantingly uplifting story of Little Star. When we finished reading the book, I asked my children if they understood what the story was about, and without missing a beat, Mary answered, “It’s about the death and resurrection of Jesus.” Her response made it obvious that the meaning of the story came through loud and clear.
Through the viewpoint of the stars in heaven, one little loner star rose to a lofty position as the only one who recognized the importance of a king born in a cold and humble stable. He roused himself to shine brightly for the baby, offering warmth and light as his gift, and burned so brightly that he burned himself out for the Lord. Through Little Star, we learn that when we lay our lives down for others, giving our best and our all, we will never die, but like Jesus, we will live forever in the memories and hearts of those who follow us.
Little Star is a wonderful story with a timeless message. It’s sure to become a family classic enjoyed not only at Christmas time, but throughout the year as well.
(Visit here to learn more about Anthony DeStefano and the other fabulous books that he has written, and be sure to order your own copy of Little Star.)