It’s 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’s 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.
|Publisher:||Shadow Mountain Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||9.30(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.40(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Ben Sowards was formally trained as an artist an specializes in realistic fine art. When he is not working on his own projects, he teaches painting both traditionally and digitally as a college instructor.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Asleep on the Hay: A Dust Bowl Christmas based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I was drawn to this book by the beautifully illustrated cover, and once you start turning the pages you are treated to eye-catching pictures, that go with the story so beautifully. This story is set during a very hard time in America, the depression and the dust bowl. People are dying from breathing in the soil, and when our young friend Paul will be asked to make a very difficult sacrifice. My boys enjoyed this story and debated whether they could do what young Paul is asked to do. We spoke of the sacrifice our God made by having is Son come and save us, and then Paul’s sacrifice didn’t seem as bad. A hard decision for young ones, and this is a beautiful book to have in your home, especially during the Christmas season. I received this book from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
Paul's family is struggling to make ends meet during the dust storms of the Midwest in the 1930s. When a young family in need arrives at their door around Christmas, Paul must choose whether or not to sacrifice his most precious possession in order to help them. A dream about the birth of Christ helps him make this difficult decision. The author manages to convey the feel, smell, and taste of the dust storm through his writing. The illustrations, also by the author, are absolutely breathtaking and a perfect accompaniment to the story. There are a couple of nice parallels drawn with the story of the birth of Christ: the title of the book, the appearance of the young family at Paul's home just before Christmas, and the barn setting. In addition, the Bible verse from John 14:27 quoted at the beginning of the book and a couple of times throughout the book ("Peace I ... give unto you ... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid"), speaks to the farewell gift Jesus leaves his disciples, a gift greater than land, or houses, or possessions. This book allows us to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and is sure to become a Christmas classic. I received this book in return for an honest review. Full blog post: https://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com/2015/12/asleep-on-the-hay-by-ben-sowards.html