Asleep on the Hay
ARC from the publisher
From the Publisher:
It is Christmas Eve when a knock comes at the door of Paul’s family farmhouse. A small family is stranded due to a broken-down truck and seeks shelter for the evening. Paul’s grandfather not only welcomes them in, but offers them dinner and a bed for the night. Even though it is a season of giving, Paul’s heart is not filled with charity. It is the height of the Dust Bowl and food is scarce. Why should he share what little he has with strangers? Worse, in order to help the sick baby, Paul will have to sell his beloved calf to buy a part to fix the truck.Angry, he retreats to the barn, where he sleeps and dreams of faraway Bethlehem. In his dream, he visits Mary and Joseph, and their newborn son, Jesus. The family offers Paul food and shelter and warmth extending to him the love and charity he lacks and teaching him of the true meaning of Christmas.
One of my favorite parts about Christmas is getting out our Christmas picture books each year. We have some of the more popular picture books – like Charlie Brown’s Christmas, and Polar Express – and we also have some lesser known picture books. All of which have great stories and wonderful memories. I know that some families wrap their picture books and then unwrap and read a story together each night. I think that sounds like such a wonderful tradition! We don’t wrap our books – we just get them all out at once. And it feels like Christmas morning! Since I usually don’t wrap our presents early (because of too many curious hands) I fill the area under our tree with books instead of gifts each year. I love the site of them all! Each of us have different favorites and we do spent time almost ever night reading though a book. Now that my kids are getting older I find the older ones sitting under the tree reading some of their favorites to the littles. I LOVE watching them read together.
I recently saw an opportunity to review a copy of Asleep on the Hay as part of a blog tour. After reading about the story I was particularly looking forward to receiving a copy of this book because my oldest had recently read a book about the Dust Bowl and he was particularly interested in that time period and how people lived through that! He is almost 12 and it’s becoming more of a challenge each year to find picture books that he enjoys with the rest of the family. I was really hoping that this would be the one book he really could enjoy with us this year.
Asleep on the Hay is a heart warming book about a young boy and his Grandfather. It is written and illustrated by Ben Sowards. The illustrations in this book are phenomenal. They are my favorite part and this book really is becoming my most favorite illustrated book under our tree.
The story itself teaches the true meaning of Christmas and has some tender moments. I felt it could use just a tiny bit more to the story, but my children loved it just the way it was. And my almost 12 year old? I was sitting under the tree one night and we were reading Christmas stories and I had to get up to help our 3 year old get ready for bed. My old most 12 year old quickly volunteered to continue reading to everyone else (he doesn’t volunteer to read out loud very often or enjoy it) and he picked this book to read. He really enjoys this story he says he really likes how it talks descriptively about the dust bowl and he really enjoyed the pictures and characters in the story too.
If you are like me and your family has a Christmas picture book collection, I think this would be a perfect addition. It will be a story your family will enjoy for years.
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(FYI: I would give it a 4 stars on content, but a 5 stars on illustrations, but my 11 year old says 5 stars all the way.)
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