The Bearer of Gifts
Kenneth Steven (author) and Lily Moon (illustrator)
Little Tiger Press ISBN: 978-1854304681
OK- I know this should be the story of St Nicholas and why we leave stockings out- but I don't have a lovely picture book version of that (gap in the market?!) so today's book is a lovely combination of a folk tale from Lapland and the traditional nativity story.
A simple wood carver living with his reindeer in Lapland spent his time making things to sell throughout the countryside. He spotted a bright star in the sky that he felt was calling to him so he loaded up his sledge and set off to follow its light. He followed its light all the way '...until he saw the star shining above the door of a tiny stable.' When he went inside and saw the baby in his bed of straw, the man glowed with such a warmth that his blue coat turned the richest, deepest, ruby red.
From here, the woodcarver travelled back to Lapland, telling the story to everyone he met along the way.
This is a delightful tale. The illustrations are simple and have a folk art charm which takes us away from all the tinsel and trappings of a commercial Christmas to the heart of its true meaning.