Every angel in Heaven is preparing for a big event…except Crystal. They won’t allow her to help because she is too little. But God doesn’t think so. Crystal soon finds herself playing an important role in delivering God’s greatest gift to the world.
Crystal The Christmas Angel by Theresa Oliver is a sweet story centered around the birth of Jesus. It shows how one little angel can make a difference; just like one child can make a difference–even when the adults around her can’t see it. The illustrations by Deanna McRae are beautiful. With its larger size (8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches) and the artist’s smart use of color, the book is sure to capture the eyes of young people.
Where I believe the book may have some challenges is in the story length, the typographical errors, and its straying away from the documented story of the first Christmas.
While there is no stated age for this book, the standard picture book age is three to eight years old. A sixty-six page picture book, therefore, doesn’t make it ideal for bedtime reading. The book attempts to cover nearly every aspect of the Christmas story instead of focusing on one part of it or condensing the rest of the events to get to the important conclusion.
There are many instances of a missing “w” in the word “was” and at one point the word “stat” is used instead of “star.” When writing for early readers, accuracy is important.
Some adult readers may have issues with the liberties the author takes with the Christmas story. Since I write faith-based fiction for children where fictional characters are integrated into Biblical events, I feel this is something I can truly speak to. I will also attempt to do so without giving away the plot. Crystal’s role in bringing God’s gift to Earth is significant. Her role changes–for lack of a better word–the traditional story we share with our children about the First Christmas. My personal belief is that the author could have shared the same inspiring message with young readers without affecting the integrity of the Biblical story. Stubby’s Destiny by Dixie Phillips shared a similar message (even the tiniest, lowliest of us can make a difference) with readers surrounding the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday; and she did so without altering any of the Biblical facts surrounding the event.
That said, the way in which Crystal The Christmas Angel is written could also engage persons outside of the Christian faith to read it. The message is an important reminder for all of us who sometimes discount a child’s abilities and it will inspire young people to keep trying. It’s definitely a lovely story and worth taking a look at.
Paperback: 66 pages
Publisher: Write More Publications; first edition (December 5, 2013)
I received a copy of this book from the author though Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.
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