The Gift of the Christmas Cookie: Sharing the True Meaning of Jesus' Birth

Overview

It's the Christmas season during a time when people had little money to spend. Cookie jars held pennies, not Christmas cookies.

So when Jack smells something delicious coming from the kitchen, he can't believe his nose. Cookies!

But his excitement turns to disappointment when he learns the cookies aren't for him. Instead, Mother is baking them for the needy people at their church. While Jack helps roll out the...

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Overview

It's the Christmas season during a time when people had little money to spend. Cookie jars held pennies, not Christmas cookies.

So when Jack smells something delicious coming from the kitchen, he can't believe his nose. Cookies!

But his excitement turns to disappointment when he learns the cookies aren't for him. Instead, Mother is baking them for the needy people at their church. While Jack helps roll out the dough, his mother tells him the legend of the Christmas cookie.

In a captivating interplay of simple words and beautiful illustrations, The Legend of the Christmas Cookie tells a tender story of giving—not just cookies, but gifts of the heart that last forever.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2

It's the Depression, and Jack's father in away from the family, in search of work. On Christmas Eve, a wonderful aroma momentarily lifts Jack's spirits until he finds out that the cookies baking in the oven are for the needy. To ease his disappointment, Jack's mother tells him about the origin of Christmas cookies. During the Middle Ages, a woodcarver and his wife made cookie molds to help them tell the story of the Nativity. Jack's mother surprises him with an angel cookie on Christmas morning and, in the spirit of the story he's been told, he gives it to a destitute stranger who comes to the door begging for food. While at times the prose is too precise in pointing out the parallels between the two eras (e.g., "Jack...wondered if times in the Middle Ages had been harder than they were right now, and if boys missed their fathers like he missed his") and the appearance of the poor stranger at the door is contrived, the overall lesson of giving prevails. The atmospheric illustrations depict Jack's kitchen as spare but welcoming. The mouthwatering cookies look as if they can satisfy both physical and spiritual hunger. Refreshingly stripped of holiday commercialism, this is an appropriate title for those who wish to introduce a new perspective to the Christmas story.-Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
It's the Depression, and Jack and his mother struggle to get by in their small town. When Jack's mother begins to bake cookies to give away to others, she explains the history behind the family's wooden cookie molds and draws Jack into her baking. As they work together, she tells him the story of European woodcarvers and their families in the Middle Ages making cookies in shapes that could be used to tell the story of Christ's birth. Jack's only Christmas gift that year is a large angel cookie, which he then gives away to a stranger who arrives on Christmas morning. Jack offers the angel cookie to the man with a few concluding sentences that convey his beliefs, neatly echoing the Biblical concept that any stranger might be an angel and must be given hospitality. The tale is told in an understated way, complemented by Chabrian's sensitive watercolor illustrations, which convey Jack's range of emotions. (author's note, cookie recipe) (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310713289
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz
  • Publication date: 9/28/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 217,800
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Dandi Daley Mackall is the author of over 400 books and still can't believe she gets to write for a living, helping children of all ages grow spiritually. She and her husband, Joe, both write from rural Ohio, where they're blessed with three children and a variety of horses, dogs, and cats.

Deborah Chabrian was born in Illinois into a large creative family where holidays were always made special. Her artistic talents have taken her from'The Best Bunny' in kindergarten, to graduating with honors from Parson's School of Design in NYC, to painting 500 book covers and hundreds of still life paintings and winning many awards. She now lives in a 200-year-old farmhouse in rural Connecticut with her artist husband, Ed Martinez; children, Oliver and Gabriella; and miscellaneous cats, hamsters, and fish.

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