Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Blessing (Franciscan Media)

Welcome back to the Children's Corner here at Stuart's Study. I told myself I was only going to review two products a week, but that's not going to happen this month. I have some season-specific products that I need to review, so for at least the next two weeks I'll be back to 3 posts a week. I received this latest book, Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Blessing, from Catholic Company's reviewer program. Unfortunately, it seems the program has been suspended at the moment, so that's a bit depressing, but hopefully it will be back in the future!

Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Blessing takes places in the month of December in Naples, Italy.  The story centers around a boy named Alessandro who is living with his grandparents temporarily since his parents are away in another country for work. His grandfather has a pretty awesome job (in my opinion). He is a craftsman who makes Nativity figurines. December is an especially busy time for the grandfather both because of his job and because Bambinelli Sunday is quickly approaching. What is Bambinelli Sunday? Bambinelli Sunday occurs on the Third Sunday of Advent, and it involves children bringing their baby Jesus figurines to the Pope (or parish priest) to be blessed before placing them in the manger for Christmas. In this story, Alessandro learns about faith, generosity, love, and the true meaning of Christmas.

This is another wonderful hardcover children's book from Amy Welborn, with beautiful illustrations to boot. The main character, Alessandro, had a very real feel to him. It's easy for Catholic children's authors to portray Catholic children as perfect, angelic beings, but Amy Welborn gives us a character with depth who we see mature and grow in love as the story progresses. She also introduces the tradition of Bambinelli Sunday, which many Americans are unfamiliar with. I spoke with our Director of Religious Education to see if we could get the priests to start doing it in our Church. I recommend you ask your priests as well! I also encourage you to pick up a copy of this book in time to prepare for Bambinelli Sunday with your little ones!

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Blessing. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith.