Today I'm reviewing The Sparkle Box, written by Jill Hardie and illustrated by Christine Kornacki. This hardcover book with dust jacket from Ideals Books has a retail price of $19.99, which includes a folded Sparkle Box in the back of the book.
This book was right up my alley. It's about a boy named Sam, who sees a shiny silver sparkle box on the mantle and wonders what is in it.
Christmas morning, his family opens the box, and Sam discovers that it is actually their birthday gift to Jesus! Inside are slips of paper with the things their family has done to give to others during the Christmas season.
This very sweet book comes with a sparkle box that you can display in your own home to inspire members of your family to consider the less fortunate during the holidays. Our family, for example, always purchases livestock from the World Vision catalog for a family overseas, and then adds the same Schleich animal figure to our ever growing Nativity Set. You might participate in Operation Christmas Child or a food packing event or whatever best suits your family.
After setting up our sparkle box, I later snuck downstairs with a folded post-it note to put the first thing inside. Last week on garbage day, while we were homeschooling, we heard a noise, and looking out the window, discovered a man digging in our recycling can. He had a bag with him, and was collecting cans. Brianna gave him a whole box full of Arizona and Monster cans she'd been saving in her room (don't ask me why). He didn't speak English, so our communication was limited, but I thought it was awfully sweet of her to give when she didn't have to.
You can connect with Ideals Books on Facebook, and there's also a great activities and materials page where you can get ideas for continuing the lesson beyond the pages of this moving story.
The suggested ages for this book are 4-8, but Jack, who I read the story to initially, is 9, and I caught my 15 year old reading it, later that day. I would say this is a family book that transcends the listed range.
Ready for the giveaway?
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I loved this book so much, I'm going to suggest you buy a copy, even if you entered the giveaway. If you win, you can then bless someone you know with one of the books, maybe even anonymously, so they, too, can start a new family tradition!