I wanted to share a book recommendation I wrote with you all. The Extra Special Baby is a wonderful book and I am already looking forward to reading it over and over again…

My little boy is 13 months old so it can be a bit hit or miss as to whether we finish a book depending on what else he’s spotted that he’d rather go play with. For advent this year he’s had a book every day in the lead up to Christmas so we’ve read a fair few over the last couple of weeks. He is particularly enjoying reading any nativity story with lots of animal pictures provided we (I) make a lot of animal noises. I’m sure his main disappointment is that there is no roaring stable animal.

However, my favourite book this season is a new one. It’s called The Extra Special Baby, The Story of the Christmas Promise and it’s written, and illustrated by, Antonia Woodward. The text and words are absolutely beautiful.

What I love most is how it goes so much deeper than many children’s versions of the nativity. It starts ‘a long time ago’ with the wise men discovering ‘a very exciting promise’ and them packing their bags to head off to find ‘someone so extra special that life on earth would change forever’. It explores God’s promises and gives you opportunity to really imagine how both Mary and Joseph may have felt in the lead up to Jesus’ birth.

And it doesn’t finish with the wise men in the stable, their long journey leads them to arrive later to give their precious gifts to Jesus just before Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt. And then the final pages show Jesus growing up from an extra special child, into an extra special man who ‘brought the blessing of heaven to the people of earth’.

When I read the Christmas story with my little one I always want to go further into God’s amazing promises for us and talk about what Christmas really means and if you want to do the same then I totally recommend The Extra Special Baby.

This is a book that I will continue reading on my own even if my toddler climbs down from my lap and wanders away and I will admit that it has touched me so much that I have cried reading it on more than one occasion.

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