4 out of 4 stars
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The Night Jesus Met Santa Claus is a delightfully unique take on the Christmas story for young children. When Santa arrives at one house on Christmas eve, he unexpectedly meets a stranger who introduces Himself as Jesus Christ. Santa checks his list once, he checks it twice, but he has to admit he has never met Jesus Christ before. People are always so busy asking Santa for favors, no one has ever bothered to tell him about the savior before.
Jesus is very understanding as the same thing happens to Him all the time. Jesus shares with Santa all about His love and grace. After Santa gratefully accepts the gift of salvation, he finds that Jesus has filled his sack with an unexpected, extra-special gift to take to children around the world.
The author, Rob Saranpa, is a professional musician. The book actually started as a song he wrote, which explains the lyrical quality of the words in the story. The book has been edited exceptionally well. I did not find a single typo or grammatical error. The story was clearly written for a Christian audience. Those who speak of wanting to put the “Christ back into Christmas” will find this book a delightful parable that does precisely that.
The vocabulary used is clear, simple, and, as previously mentioned, quite lyrical with a musical cadence. Some of the lines also rhyme. The language was my favorite part of the book. While some conservative Christians might be concerned that mixing Santa Claus with Jesus Christ will cause confusion in the minds of their children, The Night Jesus Met Santa Claus is actually an effective way to bring Christ into Christmas. By using figures familiar to young children, the basic concepts of divine grace and Jesus’ love for sinners are presented in a story sure to charm young children who have been taught to believe in Santa Claus.
The book also has original artwork. These are not your typical computer-generated images so commonly seen in most children’s books nowadays. These are lovely, colorful, and extremely detailed watercolors by John Hicks. The result is a beautifully illustrated picture book that will charm toddlers and beginning readers alike. There was honestly nothing I disliked about the book. The Night Jesus Met Santa Claus deserves every one of four out of four stars for its original storyline, its lyrical word choice, its superior editing, and its charming, original artwork.
The Night Jesus Met Santa Claus
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