Diane Smit’s The Angel’s Message is a wonderful picture book for kids about the true meaning of Christmas. It is both educational and inspiring, which is a rare combination for a picture book.
The story is about two sisters, Heather and Abbie who are trying to get into the Christmas play at their school. Abbie is two years older than Heather and has Down syndrome. Heather loves Abbie but she is strong willed and can be very hard to deal with sometimes. Yet, Abbie cheers Heather up if she gets low marks on a test or if she is having a bad day. So, all in all, she’s a great sister to have around.
After try outs, Heather and Abbie find out that they are both in the school play. They are thrilled at the news. Heather will be playing Mary while Abbie will be one of the angels. During the play, everything is going very well until Abbie comes to the crèche and screams, He’s alive! What a great message for all readers!
For many kids, the true meaning of Christmas is unknown. Smit shows the reader that Christmas is so much more than gifts under the tree or happy people sitting around the dinner table. There is a very special gift that is given to us for Christmas. All we have to do is invite Him into our lives and embrace Him!
I loved the story from beginning to end. There are so many important lessons to be learned in this picture book. First, there is the importance of accepting and encouraging kids with Downs Syndrome to be their best. The second lesson is for kids to realize the true meaning of Christmas. I intend to read this book to some Grade 2 and 3 students within a few weeks. And I will certainly use this book to explain the true meaning of Christmas to my nieces and nephews.
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Irene S. Roth
Author and Editor