We take cake pretty seriously around here. And we take any excuse to bake cakes, especially when we find an excuse that looks like this:
This weekend, we’ll celebrate Phoebe’s first birthday with pancakes and snuggles and a gift bag full of tissue paper (what more could a baby ask for?). We’ll celebrate St. Lucia’s Day, too, and our twelfth anniversary. So you see, we could make as many as three cakes if we wanted to. But I think we’ll stick with just one:
And we’ll keep rolling along with Advent, and I will keep pulling books down from the attic every so often so we can read them anew. This week, I’ll unveil one of my very favorites: Song of the Stars, by Sally Lloyd-Jones (a regularly featured author here at Little Book, Big Story).
I bought this book based on Lloyd-Jones’s name alone, and if I’m perfectly honest, I’ll admit that my first response went a little like this:
Opening pages: Is that snow? (Aren’t we in Israel?) Do I see deciduous trees?
Mid-book: Are those . . . whales? And stallions? (Where are the camels?)
Closing pages: Tears. Sniffles.
At first, I didn’t get it. In her illustrations, Alison Jay departs from the standard Christmas-book livestock of ox and ass and camel and takes readers around the world, showing how Christ’s coming wasn’t only a local event for Israelite animals but something that the whole world—every nook and cranny of creation—was preparing for. Somehow that wide-ranging perspective made for a striking contrast to the fact that all of this deep anticipation, felt by birds and beasts alike, was met in the coming of a baby—a seemingly ordinary baby who was overlooked by most of the people he had come to redeem.
Hence the tears and sniffles. The beauty of this book runs deep, so it will appeal—I’d hazard a guess—to all members of your family, regardless of age (and possible predisposition to cry over picture books). And if you’re anything like me, it will be one that you look forward to each season with, perhaps, an enthusiasm much like the one you feel for cake.
Song of the Stars
Sally Lloyd-Jones, Allison Jay (2011)