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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Belinda, like so many other six-year-olds, is very excited when she turns the calendar to December 1st. She knows that Christmas is in December and there’s lots of fun and excitement in the preparations. With Mom overseas working as a doctor, Belinda lives with her father and grandparents in a lovely, but very cold, old farmhouse. On the morning of December 1st, Belinda is tasked with a project to find out the meaning of Christmas. She is to make her own Advent calendar and try to find a new answer every day, drawing a picture to share with her Mom when she sees her. With a quick prayer to Howard (who’s really God, but Belinda always calls him Howard because she stumbled over that part of the Lord’s Prayer that says, “Hallowed be thy name”), she sets to work on her project and the days leading up to Christmas fly by in a flash.
Barbara Escher’s collection of 25 Christmas stories, The Girl Who Found Christmas: An Advent Calendar Storybook, is a unique way to follow the daily Advent ritual. A story for each day of Advent and a cute little girl, Belinda, to lead the reader along the path to finding out the meaning of Christmas. Each story is full of love and excitement and a new clue to the meaning of Christmas. Children are encouraged to read one story each night as they prepare for the coming birth of Jesus. There are some cute, one-of-a-kind, 'only a six-year-old would deduce' sayings, like praying to Howard every day. Adults will certainly share a chuckle, while young readers will grow in their faith as they follow the daily path. This is a wonderful treasure and a great alternative to opening windows on an Advent calendar to devour a piece of chocolate. This book is a real Christmas treasure. And, what is the meaning of Christmas? Read the stories and learn along with Belinda.