Wednesday 5 November 2014

If He had not come-a review

Finding books that I like about the nativity of the Lord Jesus and the general theme of Christmas can be challenging. It isn't easy to find books which don't have pictures of the Lord and don't concentrate on the trivia surrounding the season. So, I was interested but cautious about reviewing If He had not Come from David Nicholson. Hopeful that it would be reverent and that it would avoid the tinsel.

If He had not come is a just over 30 page hard back picture book. The book was originally published in 1938 and was authored by Nan F. Weeks. It has been republished, this year, by David Nicholson with pictures by Charles Jaskiewicz.
Christmas Book Review

The book is said to be best for ages 6 and up. I read it with my almost six year old and my eight year old. They certainly understood this book without any difficulty. I think that most children aged four and over would manage the book with some explanation.

The story is of a boy, Bobby, who wakes up on Christmas morning to discover that there are no decorations and no presents. Bobby goes out to find that the factory is working as usual and the shops are all open. No one seems aware that it is Christmas or what Christmas is. Bobby then discovers that his church has gone but in its place is a large sign saying If I had not come. Bobby has read this quotation from the Gospel of John, the previous evening. Bobby finds the children's home and the hospital have also disappeared as has the New Testament. Thankfully, Bobby wakes and realises that he had had a bad dream but one that makes him thankful that the Lord Jesus really did come.

This book brings up conversation topics about the good news of Jesus Christ and its far reaching effects. The end of the book has some conversation starters around the themes in the book. I found that these were not really necessary as the book itself precipitated the discussion.

There is also a Going Deeper section which has four points
  • How life would be different it Jesus had not come to Earth.
  • Why did Jesus come to Earth?
  • What would it mean spiritually if Jesus had not come to Earth.
  • Some Bible passages for further study.
The book concludes with a page devoted to the Gospel Message which is clearly explained. I struggled with the book ending with a sample prayer for salvation which the child can repeat. Whilst the Gospel is the greatest good news in the World, I wouldn't want anyone to think that they can just repeat a prayer and that would make them a Christian. True repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is necessary.

Overall, however, I was delighted with this book. The illustrations are sensitive,

I particularly liked how the pictures during the dream used mainly grey.
This seemed in tune with the text. 

There are no pictures of the Lord and the coming of the Lord Jesus is at the forefront of the book.

Recommended for anyone who celebrates Christmas to read with their children in the run up to the so called festive season.

If He had not come is available as either a hardbook at $18.95 (about £11.86) or as an e-book at $3.99 (about £2.50)

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