Book Review: A Christmas Kindness

The Christmas season always brings with it a lot of obligations and expectations.  It’s easy to let these things interfere with the real meaning of Christmas, to get so focused on what we need to do and what we want that we forget all about others.

That’s just what happened to 8-year-old Robert in C.C. Gevry’s A Christmas Kindness.  He was excited to see Santa and completely focused on what he wanted to ask the jolly old man for that he didn’t stop to think about anyone else.  But that all changes when a loose shoelace leads to a chance meeting with a little boy who has only one very simple wish for Christmas—a picture of himself and his little brother sitting on Santa’s lap.  That one wish changes Robert’s whole attitude toward the holiday.

This adorable story, as well as the beautiful illustrations by Caroline Mabey, will warm the heart of the stingiest of Scrooges.  It’s sure to become a Christmas favorite for your family, as it has for mine.


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About the book:

Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who has only one request for Santa, Robert is confused over what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?


Inside the mall, Christmas music and the tinkling of jingle bells tickled Robert’s ears. With his mother, Robert weaved through the crowd of shoppers. He smelled fried food from Burger Mart. The sweet scent of warm chocolate chip cookies from the bakery made his mouth water.


Purchase information:

4RV Publishing


Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble Nook





About the author:

Cheryl MalandrinosC.C Gevry is a children’s author from Western Massachusetts. A Christmas Kindness is her first book with 4RV Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI. Ms. Gevry is married with two young children and a son who is married. Visit her online at


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Newberry Classics

I spent some time cleaning out my files today.  Figured I would start 2011 with at least a little more organization.  (Hmm…  Thinking right now that I should talk to my older sister.  Now THAT is one organized lady!)  Now, I am not  insane enough to think that I will remain organized all year long.  That would take a miracle, and I think God has more important miracles to dole out.

Still, starting off a new year just a little more organized can’t be a bad thing.

I found some interesting things in my files.  Actually, I am glad that I did.  It would be somewhat depressing to know that I had collected all of those printed sheets of paper only to find that none of them are at all interesting.  Among the more interesting finds were two stapled lists of books.  One is a list of Newbery Medal winners; the other is a list of recommended reading for high schoolers.  With all of the reading that I do, I have read precious few books on these lists.  That is something that I hope to change this year. 

The boys asked if we can go to the library while they are on Christmas break.  So I am thinking that we will go tomorrow.  I asked them to look at the Newbery list to pick out a book to read.  Not sure they will really do that, though.  I was in fifth grade—one year older than my oldest son—when my      encouraged (or when it is a teacher, is the proper term ‘forced’?) us to read books from her Newbery Medal winner list.  As much as I would like to see the boys choosing something more substantial to read than Captain Underpants, I suppose I don’t need to force them just yet.  Not that I am saying it will never happen!

As for me, I plan to take out one Newbery book and one of the recommended for high school students books.  At the moment I don’t have anything on my calendar to review.  So it would be a very good time to read some classics.

 Hmm….  In twenty years or so, do you think a Lynn McMonigal novel might be considered a classic??

Christmas Twist

The night in history that fascinates me more than any other is the night when Jesus was born.  While the Bible tells us certain things–that the birth happened in Bethlehem, in a stable, that three kings from the east followed a star to that stable and that the birth was announced to shepherds by a group of angels–but there is so much we don’t know.  There are so many places where we can use our imaginations to fill in the blanks.  Cheryl G. Malandrinos gives her take on what might have happened that night in her book Little Shepherd.

This book follows Obed, a young shepherd barely five years old, from the hills where the angels appeared to the Bethlehem stable and back to his sheep.  Obed doesn’t quite understand everything that happens that night.  He is especially confused about why the shepherds are more concerned with seeing the baby the angels spoke of than protecting their sheep.

I really enjoyed this book.  Malandrinos did a wonderful job of capturing both the confusion and the wonder that Obed experienced that night.  I could easily picture the wonder in his eyes by thinking of one of my sons in his position.

As I write this review, my sons are fighting over the book.  The toddler loves the colorful illustrations.  The nine-year-old and seven-year-old are arguing about who gets to read it first.  Any book that captures the interest of all three of my sons has definitely earned its place on my bookshelf.

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.   


Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.


You can visit Cheryl online at or the Little Shepherd blog at