Still, I don't think we can ever put TOO much emphasis on helping others, and was excited to get a chance to review The Sparkle Box.
This beautiful picture book tells the story of a little boy noticing a sparkly box/present as part of the Christmas decor. When he asks about it, his mother tells him that "first we have to fill it". The story unfolds with them doing various giving throughout the Christmas season and the parents always answering the boy's question of "have we filled the box yet?" with "we've put some things in, but it's not full yet". On Christmas morning, they allow him to open the box and he finds it contains slips of paper with the various charitable activities they've done that season. The parents explain that this is their family's gift to Jesus for His birthday because doing things for others is like doing them for Jesus.
The book ends with a challenge, of sorts, to begin a similar tradition in your own family and comes with a cute, silver sparkly box (folded flat in the back of the book), so you can have your own "sparkle box".
The book's pictures are beautiful and the book is high quality. The idea of "giving presents to Jesus" is certainly an important one. Something that bothered me was that the parents didn't explain the purpose of the sparkle box up front. It seems to me, that it would have been a better idea to explain at the beginning of the season what they were putting in the box so he could be thinking about it and coming up with his own ideas. Obviously, if you read this story to your children you're already addressing this, telling them about the idea, so it's not a big deal.
My children enjoyed the story and liked the idea of having our own Sparkle box, though in typical, literal child fashion, they were quick to point out that the box that came with the book isn't EXACTLY like the picture - no big fluffy bow, for example, LOL.
We received this book right before leaving on a trip, but when we get home, we plan to find a special place for the sparkle box where it will remind us often to do things for others. I think we will "open" Jesus' present at or near Christmas, but then make it a goal to fill it ALL year next year, not just around Christmas time.
And now, for the giveaway!!!
In addition to sending us a book to review, the publisher has another copy waiting in their office to send to one of my readers! To enter, leave a comment on this blog post (not on facebook or via e-mail) telling me one of your favorite holiday traditions. Make sure that you include an e-mail address or other way for me to easily contact you if you win. The giveaway will close on November 1. Once I contact the winner, they will have 2 days to reply or I will choose an alternate winner.
Disclaimer: I received the above mentioned product, and a second copy for use as a giveaway in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.