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Follow the Star – Advent Calendar

Author Clare Williams and Charlotte Cooke
Publisher CHP £3.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781781404447

This is a lovely idea – a well-constructed Advent Calendar with a traditional fold-out nativity scene. Instead of doors to open there are 24 stickers with appropriate objects to add to the picture each day (1-24 December). The clever innovation comes from the attached story sheet which provides for each day a Bible narrative (sometimes a single verse), and a rhyme to match the sticker. Children are therefore guided each day of Advent through the biblical birth narratives, with a few Old Testament antecedents.

The concept is brilliant but, unfortunately, I found the final product slightly lacking. Although I liked the artwork, the sticker scenes are mostly small and sometimes obscure. And I regret to say the rhymes are not great. Parents may cringe a little and even small children may notice an occasional lack of rhythm. Nonetheless, with wise parental guidance and a child-friendly Bible, the nativity story should come alive in a new and exciting way through this calendar. It is a genuine antidote to the chocolate-rich commercial products that line supermarket shelves at this time of year. I sincerely hope that, despite my curmudgeonly doubts, this enterprise is a great success with both children and their parents.

Reviewed by KATE BURTON



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