- Book Style: Storybook for children
- Reading Level: 4 (Advanced Reading: Due to long length and vocabulary)
- Reading Length: 10-15 minutes
- Illustration: Simple, cute…yet somehow realistic
- Age Target: 6-11 Years of Age
Little Gemma and the Wooden Shoe is a faith-based story about a little girl named Gemma and her Granny during the Christmas season. Gemma is a wonderful young girl who is affectionate, caring, and always thinks about everyone else. Granny is the alpha in their little house of two, but she struggles day in and day out. Together, they have built a cute life that is full of love, but bereft of money and things. You wouldn’t know it from Gemma’s attitude, however.
The first thing that I noticed about this book is just how positive it is. There are moments where our young readers will be stricken by the level of poverty that Gemma and Granny live in, but for the most part this story just stays wonderfully positive. Gemma is a cheery girl who spends her time gardening, decorating, and helping people. Granny is an old lady who scrapes together sticks to sell as kindling just so Gemma and her can have a few “extras” in their house. It would be very easy for these characters to be sour individuals with very little to offer, but they both shine through as great people. It’s just a treat to read a book this positive.
Our author, Mary Jacobs, has ensured that this book’s messaging is on point. As I said earlier in this review, this is a faith-based book that drives home a faith-based message. For example, Gemma is reminded that she shouldn’t do nice things for people and then expect something in return. Granny reads from the Bible whenever they have time and during special occasions (and as a result, Gemma believes in Christmas Angels). Finally, the reader is constantly reminded that Christmas is not about receiving gifts, but giving. Mary Jacobs has really made Faith a focal point of this book, and has done it in a lovely way.
Now, the illustrations are an interesting discussion. As the target market is a little on the older side for Kids Fun Channel (this is the first book we’ve reviewed with a higher end age target over 10 years old), the illustrations are a little less important. However, this doesn’t mean that our author has made them an afterthought. Quite the opposite, actually. What she’s done is utilized the illustrations to drive home her messaging and to give the book a bit of an “old” style.
What do I mean? Well, have a look at the picture below. You’ll notice some incredible choices that make the illustrations both interesting to look at and also add to the overall feeling of the book. See the old man’s face? Notice how much detail has been added here while keeping Gemma very simple. Our author has added depth to both characters with this simple choice. On top of that, the scene itself shows an older house in a natural setting. The entire book is drawn like this and like I said, it adds to the “old” feeling.
Couple this review with the ridiculously low price on Amazon.com ($2.29 USD), and I can’t help but recommend this book. My recommendation is especially true for children who like to read and for families of Faith. The book’s messaging and it’s well-crafted style make it a perfect fit for parents who want their children reading wholesome, strong literature. Now then, use the link below to head over to Amazon and purchase this ebook for your child!
Until next time…smash, crash, and learn!