Alphabet of the First Christmas, An

7 December 2017

An Alphabet of the First Christmas: A Christian Alphabet Book
by Susan Harris
Published by White Lily Press
Review by Shelley A. Leedahl
$12.00 ISBN 978-0-9949869-2-4

Author Susan Harris has added another alphabet book to her growing list of titles: An Alphabet of the First Christmas: A Christian Alphabet Book, will be specifically welcome to those who wish to teach (or learn!) the alphabet from a Christmas-themed and a Christian perspective. Like her book, Christmas A to Z, this softcover leads young readers through a colourful array of images, and it uses some “big” words to represent certain letters. For example, “B” is for Bethlehem, “E” is for “Emmanuel,” “F” is “Frankincense,” and “Y” is for “Yeshua,” “the Hebrew name for Jesus,” meaning saviour. I applaud Harris for using both simple words and these more difficult ones: I can almost hear a little child carefully pronouncing “Frankincense” after he or she hears it, and enjoying both the challenge and the sound of the word.

Several of the illustrations reminded me of traditional Christmas card images, while others featured cartoon-like characters. The book is perfect for Christmas gift-giving, as it even includes a handy “To” and “From” page at the beginning.

To learn more about Harris, I consulted her website at Born and raised in Trinidad and now a resident of Melville, Harris – a writer, speaker, and former teacher – credits her disparate homes for making her adaptive. “Susan can adapt to audiences and geographic conditions, and she attributes this to the exposure of city living, island living and rural living. Winter seasons have seen her interchange a briefcase and a shovel, as she tosses snow in high heeled boots and executive suit.”

Christianity, leadership, and public speaking have been a huge part of Harris’s life since childhood. “Since age 9, she has been standing in front of audiences, and has inspired thousands in schools, churches, conferences and youth groups to find fulfillment in life. Her beliefs and experiences have helped women in particular to discover practical ways of leading positive and intentional lives. Her messages have been presented with clarity, conviction and humour.”
As with Harris’s other Christmas alphabet book, this title includes a “Letter from the Author,” which begins “Dear Little Friend of Jesus”. Harris explains that “There are many books which teach about the alphabet, but [she] wanted to write a special one about Jesus and Christmas. Not everyone believes in the Christian faith, but they can still learn about what we believe because education is about learning different things.”

In her letter to young readers, Harris suggests that they “name the pictures and sound out the words.” For further learning, she writes that they “can also talk about where these words are found in the Bible.” The book concludes with “A Prayer to Invite Jesus into Your Heart,” and “A Prayer for My Little Friends’ Success”.

If you have a child, grandchild, or another little one on your gift-giving list and you’d like them to know more about the “Christ” in Christmas, you may want to include this educational and celebratory book – published by White Lily Press in Yorkton – under the tree.


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