How a Backyard Bird Sees Christmas
An illustrated story in verse by Catherine Lawton
Paperback / 7.5″x9.25″ / 34 pp.
Full-color mixed-media art
For children and for adults who want to be more child-at-heart and wonder-filled during Advent and Christmas. As days shorten, leaves fall, nights become chilly, and lights are strung on houses and trees, the birds that visit the backyard feeder observe the changes and the sense of anticipation. What do the activities and preparations of people during this season mean? What is coming?
The story is told through the eyes of a little Finch who can sense that something significant is coming to his world. A climax in the story is reached when snow falls and the children come outside to play in the snow. They bring the Finch a suet feeder and greet him with ‘Merry Christmas, little bird.’ Then he knows what is happening! He understands what is coming–Who has come and why all the Christmas lights make him feel like the stars–and Heaven–are coming down to earth. On the final page, the bird flies to the front yard and finds something there that causes him to think he is hearing the stars sing.
This story will bring wonder and teachable moments to consider how even the wild creatures outside are cared for; to observe the changes in nature with the seasons; and to talk together about what it means for all people and all of creation that Christ came to earth and was born as a human being, which is what we celebrate on Christmas. The author’s water-color and mixed-media illustrations make this a visually-engaging story for young and old.
Catherine (Cathy) Lawton has authored numerous books including fiction, memoirs, and poetry. This is her first published children’s book. She painted the pictures and wrote the story several years ago for her young grandchildren after they visited her at Christmas time. The grandchildren played in her backyard, threw snowballs, went sledding down the hill behind the house, decorated holiday cookies, watched twinkling lights, sang Christmas carols, and fed the backyard birds. It all felt magical experiencing these things together, yet it all pointed to something bigger than all of these things put together: Christmas!–the time when the stars shone brighter and Heaven came to earth.
What Readers Say:
“I felt my smile broaden as I turned every page, my anticipation heightened by the gorgeous paintings matching the clever and unpredictable verse. An Oh! so fresh telling of the old, old Christmas story!” –Alice Scott-Ferguson, author of Pausing In the Passing Places
“Delightful. I loved [the] artistry. [The] suggestions for activities while waiting for Christmas to come are so neat. Describing God’s world gives an exciting view of His creation and excitement that grows looking for the arrival of His son, Jesus!” −Charlotte Marrs, reader
“I loved it. Delightful.” −Janyne McConnaughey, author of BRAVE