4 out of 4 stars
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Matthew and the Magical Star by Kurt D. Miller is a Christmas book for children. Most biblically based Christmas books present the gospel account by telling Jesus’ birth from the point of view of people on Earth. This creative book portrays the story from heaven’s vantage point.
Matthew is in heaven waiting to be assigned a date for his birth on Earth. He and his best friend Adam are very excited when his date is finally announced. On the day he is scheduled to find out about his family, the plans change. The people on Earth have forgotten about honoring God and keeping his commandments, so God is sending his son Jesus to Earth to remind them. Jesus will be born on December 25, and as a result, all other births scheduled for that date - including Matthew’s - have been cancelled. A devastated Matthew goes away to a remote cloud and pouts. Doesn’t God care about him? Does he have a purpose?
What I liked most about this book was that it offered a different view of a familiar story. In sixteen pages, the author covers topics such as God’s plan for each person, life in heaven, and the reason for the birth of Jesus. The illustrations are colorful and engaging, although the drawings of God confused me because he looked like Jesus. I was wondering why Jesus was fully grown while directing plans for his own birth, then I realized it was God. I think this may confuse other readers as well.
I appreciate that this book is imaginative while remaining biblically accurate. The only notable exception to this was in the beginning. The story opens with people arriving in heaven after their time on Earth is complete. The narrative shares that in heaven they would “study to be angels,” which scripture does not corroborate.
I rate Matthew and the Magical Star 4 out of 4 stars. I did not notice any grammatical errors in this book. It is a refreshing take on the Christmas story from a heavenly perspective. This book’s blurb references Matthew encountering a fallen angel, but that is not part of this story. I applaud the author for not including that storyline because it would have detracted from the central theme of the birth of Jesus.
I recommend this book to anyone who would enjoy a biblically based Christmas read. The target audience is primarily children ages four to ten (or those who are a child at heart). I do not recommend this book to those who would not enjoy a Christ-centric Christmas story. I also do not recommend this book to Christians who would rather not get too creative with the traditional biblical text on the Nativity, although I thought the book balanced this well.
Matthew and the Magical Star
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