Author: Karen Boes Oman
Illustrator: Marilyn Brown
ISBN-10: 1449961592
ISBN-13: 978-1449961596

Click Here To Purchase Gifts of the Heart

Grandma and Grandpa are on their way to visit their children for Christmas, their car loaded down with gifts. They had new coats and socks and boots and skates a “toy horse that rocks.” Halfway there they were surprised by a terrible snowstorm. The wind picked up their car and twirled it around and around like Dorothy in the tornado.  They didn’t land in Oz, though—they landed on a shoe-house full of children!

The wind pulled all the presents from the car and scattered them all over the countryside. Grandpa and Grandma chased after the presents, but found them being well used by friends who needed them. Instead of snatching their grandchildren’s presents back, they gave Gifts of the Heart—coats for the coatless, boots for the bootless and skates for the skateless.  The last gift—the rocking horse—was smashed. Grandma picked up the tail; it was all that was left.

The wind picked Grandma and Grandpa up and they flapped their wings and flew home to the grandchildren. When Grandpa told the story, the children hugged him and said, “No gifts, that’s okay. By next year we’d think they were old anyway.”

At that very moment, Bo Peep knocked on the door and hurried them out to her sheep-driven sleigh. They soared far away, past the moon and the Milky Way, to a magical place where Christmas was being well-celebrated. The grateful residents of Bo Peep’s town had a gifts for the children, including one special gift—the repaired rocking horse.

Gifts of the Heart, by Karen Boes Oman, is a treasure. It’s a wonderful story about giving rather than getting. The repeated message is, “When you give, you’re giving your heart.” The secondary message is, when you give, others give, too. And the story is beautifully wrapped in a gentle, rhythmic rhyme. It’s easy to read aloud and easy for children to hear. I read it to my granddaughters, and they snuggled down and listened to the entire book—quite an accomplishment for a two- and four-year old.

Marilyn Brown’s illustrations are beautiful, too, and very reminiscent of Tasha Tudor. They fit the book perfectly—gentle, detailed, soft—gifts of the artist’s heart.

I enjoyed the book, and so did my granddaughters. Their favorite part? The very last page, where it says, “The End.” It’s the page that shows Grandma lovingly re-attaching the tail to the repaired rocking horse. A gift of the heart.

Click Here To Purchase Gifts of the Heart