Monday, November 2, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: A Rare Nativity by Sam Beeson

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A Rare Nativity, by Sam Beeson, Images by Nina & Terral Cochran
32p, 2015, Illustrated Christmas Book
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

We have all heard the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, and we have all seen the traditional Christmas crèche. Now, author Sam Beeson and photographers Nina and Terral Cochran combine these two classic Christmas icons to create A Rare Nativity.

Upon reading the first lines of the book, it is clear the narrator holds a bitter grudge as he sends his enemy crude and discarded gifts: On the first night of Christmas I gave my enemy a briar from a tanglewood tree. On the second night of Christmas I gave my enemy two rotten eggs.

Night after night the gifts pile up shards of glass, rusty nails, gnarled twigs, and more. What the narrator's enemy decides to do with each of these odious gifts is nothing less than a Christmas miracle. The photographic creation of the rare nativity at the end of the book is both a work of art and a wonder to behold.

This is a book that doesn't take long at all to read but the message will stay with you for a long time after that. For each of the twelve nights of Christmas, the author gives something to his enemy and, as you can imagine, they aren't great: broken eggs, old potatoes, shards of glass, rusty nails, etc. At the end of that, he's feeling satisfied with himself. Then, there's a knock at his door and a packaged gift from his enemy. As he opens it, he learns a powerful lesson about forgiveness and the true meaning of Christmas.

The photos help convey the author's frustration with his enemy and what the enemy was able to make of those gifts at the end. I read this with my children and they enjoyed the message as well. This is a book we will read each Christmas for many years to come!

About the Author
Sam Beeson gives himself annual writing assignments. In 2005, he wrote a poem a day. In 2007, he wrote about his wife every day. In 2015, each day he wrote a handwritten letter to someone new. Sam teaches high school English and loves reading the journals of his ancestors.

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 Ends 11/11/15

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