Little Shepherd by Cheryl C. Malandrinos, Illustrations by Eugene Ruble
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Publication Date: August 2010
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing Inc.
Format: Paperback, 16 pp
Genre: Children's Storybook
(Received for review from Pump Up Your Book Promotions)
Synopsis (Courtesy of Barnes & Noble):
In the hills outside Bethleham, Obed guards his first flock of sheep. When the angels appear to tell of the Savior's birth, he is hesitant to follow the others to see the new King. When Obed returns to his sheep he realizes it is a night of miracles.
Suggested age, for readers 4-8
Cheryl Malandrinos has crafted a wonderful re-telling of the night of the Savior's birth. Told through the eyes of a young shepherd boy, Obed, Little Shepherd gives readers a view of the Nativity that will enchant the young and old. Eugene Ruble's illustrations enhance the story and bring life to the characters in this rendition of the beloved story of the first Christmas.
Obed, is watching his very first flock of sheep and is reluctant to leave them even when angels appear to him and the other shepherds, heralding the birth of a King. He worried that thieves might steal the sheep or wolves might destroy them. After seeing the new baby and his family they return to the fields. Obed is astounding to find that the sheep are safe and sound. It is truly a night of miracles.
Malandrinos has a knack for writing in a way that young children will be able to imagine young Obed, worried for his animals even in the presence of baby Jesus. He didn't know then, who this baby would become. I think that kids will find it easy to understand and easy to identify with Obed, because they don't always understand the significance of events at the time, either. The author makes Obed's father seem wise and kind and Obed is good boy who listens and obeys his father in spite of his own worries.
I loved the illustrations by Eugene Ruble as well. It gives the book that wonderful storybook quality that makes the story seem richer. The colors in the illustrations really jump off the page and make the reader interested in seeing what the next page is going to look like.
Being a mother and a Christian, I am always looking for books to share with my children. Though both of my girls are older than the suggested age group for this book, they really enjoyed hearing one of their favorite stories told in a different way. I look forward to more from the author and plan to share this wonderful book with the children at our church.
I recommend Little Shepherd to parents who want to show their children a different perspective of a age-old story. It is an beautiful re-telling of the first Christmas story that will bring the joy of the season into the lives of our little ones.
Little Shepherd is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor from Western Massachusetts. She is a founding member of Musing Our Children, and editor and chief of the group's quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens. Ms. Malandrinos is also a blogger, book reviewer, and online publicist. Little Shepherd is her first children's book.
Eugene Ruble's 40 years of art encompasses: graphic art and design, freelance illustration, and cartooning, working with publishers, corporations and individual clients. Ruble teaches caricature art, cartooning, painting and basic drawing classes at St. Louis community centers, public schools, YMCAs and colleges. He also illustrates children's books. Look for his books at Guardian Angel Publishing. Eugene is a 30-year Distinguished Member of the St. Louis Artists' Guild.