Christmas with Bernadette
Genre: Humor, Children's
Date Published: September 5, 2014
Number of Pages: 106
Print Price: $7.20
eBook Price: $3.50
Christmas with Bernadette is Emily Grace Ortega’s charming sequel to I’m Bernadette! Seven year old Bernadette is vivacious, thoughtful, and honest as she navigates the very real struggles of a young girl.
Christmas and the birth of her new sibling are right around the corner, and Bernadette tries to find her place in the preparations. She wants to give presents to everyone in her family, plus make a donation to a charity that helps children with cleft palates. She also hopes to be ready for her new baby sister or brother. In the meantime, she’s asked to bring a contribution to her class party. As her piggy bank empties, little brothers wreak havoc with her craft projects, and the excitement of the season causes her to forget her ingredient for her class party, Bernadette fears that she might ruin Christmas for everyone. However, she learns that even if her mom is pregnant and tired and her brothers are destructive, her family can pull together, help her solve her problems, and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas in a memorable way.
Like her first chapter book, Ortega includes a meaningful catechesis hidden within the entertaining anecdotes. Readers are introduced to various Advent preparations, the beauty of Latin hymns, and the best ways to build expectation for Christ during a busy time of year. An emphasis on moral instruction sets this book apart from many in its genre as well. Main characters do not just do whatever they please and get away with it. Bernadette has a kind heart, and I love to see her apologize and correct her behavior when she is tempted to get frustrated and lash out. Forming virtuous habits is the drama and task of a young person’s life, and Ortega comforts and encourages her blossoming readers through Bernadette’s relatability and sincere effort to be good.
Another element of this novel that struck me was the positive portrayal of Bernadette’s father. Especially now that her mother is fatigued and approaching the end of her pregnancy, Bernadette turns to her dad for emotional support and assistance. Every time he comes into the scene the situation is infused with creativity, humor, and empathetic leadership.
Readers leave the book wishing that more fathers had that sort of uplifting presence in their homes.
I would gladly recommend this book for elementary age students who are reading early chapter books and up. Tasteful illustrations and lively descriptions make Christmas with Bernadette a diverting read, especially in preparation for the holidays.Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Original Language: English
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