Friday, November 18, 2016

God's Gift by Lee Ann Mancini

Just in time for the holiday season Lee Ann Mancini has released a new book in the Adventures of the Sea Kids Series. This book focuses on the  celebrations of both Christmas and Hanukkah, as two young sea creatures learn the value of both days. Christian, the sea turtle, and his family celebrate Christmas. They decorate with lights, a Christmas tree, and baby Jesus in a manger. His friend Jacob, the star fish, helps his family decorate for Hanukkah by putting up lights and the menorah.

After an argument at the playground one day, about which holiday was the most important and which provided the most gifts, their parents decided to get together to show them what each holiday represented and the importance of celebrating it. In the end they both recognize that the holidays are about God and His gifts to us, and that is why we give gifts to each other.

This hardback book is very brightly illustrated with beautiful pictures and details. My daughter and I enjoyed the story, but I felt like the explanations were a bit shallow and very basic. There is not much detail about either holiday. The only explanation for Hanukkah is that "A long time ago, there was only enough oil in the lamp for one night, but the oil lasted for eight days! God gave us the miracle of light".  There is no background information as to why there wasn't enough oil or details about what happened. In regards to Christmas, this is the explanation given: "It is about the gift from God of His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, our Messiah." But again, nothing to tell why we needed a Messiah or that this was fulfillment of prophecy of long ago. Personally, I just felt like it was lacking something. I suppose this book is probably written for younger children so maybe that is all they can handle. My children are a little older now (9 & 11), but they still enjoy reading these books, and I would have liked to see just a little more information.

The main focus of the book is that these holidays are not about the gifts we get, it is about loving each other and recognizing God's gifts to us. This story teaches kids to recognize the differences in the way people celebrate the holidays and respect that, while sharing God's love with those around us. It also encourages practicing a thankful heart. And as always the kids will enjoy looking for the hidden pictures on each page, which in this book are awesomely doubled, because they can look for both the cross and the star of David. I would recommend this book and all books in this series, which we have enjoyed.

I was blessed with a complimentary copy of this book from Book Crash and GLM Publishing to review. I was not required to review the book positively, and all opinions are my own.

Available on Amazon and GLM

About the Author:

Lee Ann Mancini is an award-winning author who is passionate about instilling Christian values in children, while encouraging them to pray to Jesus and to love others. She is an adjunct professor at South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary. She has taught Bible studies for 10+ years, is an active community volunteer leader, is involved in Women’s Ministry at Spanish River Church, and is a board member of Alexandrian Forum. She is a member of Evangelical Theological Society and Society for Pentecostal Studies. Lee Ann loves to read, write, jog, and teach the Word of God. She is married and is the mother of two children. 

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