Monday, November 30, 2015

The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie, Illustrated by Christine Kornacki

A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas

The moving story of an uncommon gift and how giving to others shows a little boy the true meaning of Christmas. Sam is so excited about Christmas! He’s thinking about his Christmas list, anticipating holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift—a sparkly box sitting on the mantel above the fireplace. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others. On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the Sparkle Box, he finds only slips of paper that record the family’s good deeds. Sam’s parents explain that the things that they’ve been doing for others are, in fact, a gift for Jesus—for Jesus said that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for Him. This heartfelt story will inspire readers to adopt this faith-centered tradition in their own homes, using the included Sparkle Box.

My review:

   This is a different kind of Christmas book, as it encourages participation and comes with a box to use. The box is to write down things to give Jesus for His birthday by giving to those in need. i.e kids could put in a slip of paper saying "buy gloves for homeless people", etc.

   The book is done in story form, and is done very well with great illustrations. Through the fictional Sam, kids can learn the true meaning of Christmas, which is giving to Jesus. The story is interesting, has a great lesson and moral, and accompanied by the included box is a great way to help kids get their focus off of getting and onto giving during the Christmas season.

 The box is square, measuring 4 inches on each side. It does not have a removable lid or openings, and must be opened each time something is put inside, which may make the box not last as long as if it had a lid that came off completely or a slit to put papers in. It is still a very neat idea and is a book I would recommend to all parents who want to get their kids engaged in the giving side of Christmas.

About the author:

Author Jill Hardie, her husband, and their two children began the tradition of placing a Sparkle Box for Jesus under their Christmas tree approximately seven years ago. The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away and they experienced profound peace and happiness. It's Jill's hope that The Sparkle Box book will ignite a new Christmas tradition that helps center Christmas in the true joy of the season.
"There are many traditions that help us remember the remarkable and beautiful story of the birth of Jesus. My hope is that The Sparkle Box will help us remember Jesus as he is today – in the present. It encourages us to ask the question, 'What gift can we give Jesus on His birthday that will bring Him joy?'
Jesus taught us that whenever we do something for someone in need, we do it for Him. I think loving and caring for each other in His name is the greatest gift we could give to honor Jesus on His birthday."
– Jill Hardie
You can contact Jill Hardie at
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About the illustrator:

At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children's books began to take shape. She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming café in New Haven, Connecticut.

The Sparkle Box is available from Worthy Publishing.

Thanks to Worthy for the review copy.