I love reviewing Christmas children's books during this time of year, and it is my great pleasure to showcase Little Shepherd on my blog today.
On a cold night outside of Bethlehem, a little shepherd named Obed watches over his sheep. Now five, Obed has his own flock to guard. He's proud that his father has entrusted him with such responsibility. After all, his family depends on the sheep for food and clothing. But little Obed is also worried about the wolves and so he keeps a sharp eye on his flock.
Then one night, a bright light shimmers in the star-filled night. Angels come with a message, a message of good things to come for everyone on earth.
“Do not be afraid,” the angel said, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Obed's father decides they must go to Bethlehem to find this newborn babe. Obed, however, is terrified. How can they even consider leaving the flock alone at the mercy of the starving wolves? His father tells him not to be afraid, but Obed is doubtful. Will his flock be safe in his absence? That will require a miracle!
The Little Shepherd is a 'cozy' picture book to read by the fire with the family this holiday season, especially on Christmas night. The author's prose flows beautifully, with just the right balance of narration, description and dialogue. It is a sweet tale about the power of faith and the good things that come with it. The story has a quiet, magical, slightly suspenseful tone and looks at the birth of Jesus from a different angle. I also enjoyed the colorful illustrations by Eugene E. Ruble. They do have a distinctive style and add a splash of color on the pages and help transport the reader to a different time and place. In short, Little Shepherd will make a lovely gift to any child this Christmas. It will also be a worthy addition to any library or classroom shelf. I look forward to this talented author's next book.
Little Shepherd is available from:Barnes and Noble
Guardian Angel Publishing
About the author
Little Shepherd is Cheryl Malandrino’s first children’s book. In addition to being an author, she's also a publicist, freelance writer, founding member of Musing Our Children, Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, and book reviewer. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters.
Connect with the author via Twitter and Facebook.
About the illustrator
Eugene E. Ruble’s 40 years of art encompasses: graphic art and design, freelance illustration, and cartooning, working with publishers, corporations and individual clients. Ruble teaches caricature art, cartooning, painting and basic drawing classes at St. Louis community centers, public schools, YMCAs and colleges. He also illustrates children’s books. Look for his books at Guardian Angel Publishing. Eugene is a 30-year Distinguished Member of the St. Louis Artists’ Guild.
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