What's Christmas? What's Christmas?

Alexa Tewkesbury with Steve Boulter (Illustrator)
ISBN 9781853453892 (1853453897)
CWR, 2006

Category: Books for Children and Parents
Subcategory: Advent & Christmas
Reviewed by: Claudia Kirby

What's Christmas? tells the story of Snow Bear, a little polar bear who is challenged by Old Polar, a wise old bear, to find out what Christmas is all about. An arctic hare, a walrus, and a puffin all try to help her. Each, however, gives her just part of the story: "Christmas is nowhere to stay, just a damp, dingy stable where a tiny new baby lies sleeping in the straw," for example. At first none of this makes much sense to the little bear. Then a boy comes along and pieces the snapshots together for her: "Christmas is the King's birthday!", and "The baby King's called Jesus!" Yet still, it seems, there is more to the story. This is where Old Polar comes back into the story, as he explains the wonderful truth that Christmas is God's love and that it was this love that made him send his Son for us at Christmas.

What's Christmas? is an innovative and effective way of explaining the Christmas story to children of nursery and early school age. The experience of the little polar bear effectively mirrors that of children today who often obtain pieces of information from different sources and have to work out how it all fits together.

The book is beautifully illustrated with bright and vibrant pictures that show the little polar bear's journey and at the same time depict key aspects of the Christmas story in a traditional way.

Claudia Kirby, April 2007

Claudia Kirby trained in Germany as a social worker and subsequently completed an MA in theology. Now the mother of two young sons, she lives with her husband, Jeremy Kirby, who teaches at Calvary Chapel Bible College in Siegen, Germany.


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