Book Review: Breakfast in Bethlehem

breakfast_in_bethlehemresizedThis is a heartwarming children’s book, but it will make readers of any age feel closer to the birth of our Savior.

In 40 pages, Edward Looney crafted a story giving a message that does good to the soul: Christmas is about Baby Jesus. It’s about going with the Holy Family as they journey through Bethlehem in search of shelter. It’s about reflecting on the beauty of that stable where He was born.

The writing often verges on pleasant and hopeful poetry. A perfect example can be found on the first page:

I hear church bells ringing.

Ding. Dong. Ding. Dong.

Ding. Dong. Ding. Dong.

Ding. Dong. Ding. Dong.

The bells rang twelve times.

It is midnight.”

In the above passage, I could hear the sound of the church bells as they rang. I felt solemn, as if standing before the altar surrounded by music that sounded as if the angels themselves were celebrating. The writing in this book is superb.

It’s a charming way for children to experience the story of Christmas. It follows a boy’s dream that he is in Bethlehem watching the celebration of a baby’s birth. A star guides people to the little stable, and people give all they have as gifts to the child. Those who don’t have material possessions give song, or their very presence at the gathering. It’s easy to read, making it simple for a child to become engrossed.

The following passage warmed my heart:

In a little while, I heard a baby crying. Mary held the baby in her arms. Joseph looked at Mary holding Jesus in her arms and he smiled because he knew this child was very special.

Breakfast in Bethlehem is a wonderful gift to give in the season of Advent. What better story for a child than that of our Savior’s birth? This little book wraps you into Jesus’ birthday party where the whole world celebrated. Complete with lovely illustrations, it will make Christmas rich for the young reader.