Asleep on the Hay: A Dust Bowl Christmas by Ben Sowards
It’s Christmas Eve when a knock comes at the door of Paul’s family farmhouse. A small family is stranded due to a broken-down truck and seeks shelter for the evening. Paul’s grandfather not only welcomes them in, but offers them dinner and a bed for the night. Even though it is a season of giving, Paul’s heart is not filled with charity. It’s the height of the Dust Bowl and food is scarce. Why should he share what little he has with strangers? Worse, in order to help the sick baby, Paul will have to sell his beloved calf to buy a part to fix the truck. Angry, he retreats to the barn, where he sleeps and dreams of faraway Bethlehem. In his dream, he visits Mary and Joseph, and their newborn son, Jesus. The family offers Paul food and shelter and warmth—extending to him the love and charity he lacks and teaching him of the true meaning of Christmas.
This story about the true meaning of Christmas is not just beautifully written, but the illustrations are gorgeous as well! It is quick read, but the story has depth and through the eyes of young Paul, the reader learns about giving, sacrifice and Jesus. I love this book so much, I am going to add it my collection of Christmas stories to share with my own family! Paul's journey pulled on my heartstrings and really made me reflect and ponder. I highly recommend this beautiful book for anyone at any age!
About the Author:
Author & Illustrator Ben Sowards
Ben Sowards is the illustrator of many well-loved picture books, including A Christmas Dress for Ellen, Seven Miracles that Saved America, and Christmas Oranges. Ben Sowards teaches others to paint both traditionally and digitally at Southern Utah University, where has directed the illustration program since 2001.
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