NOTE: The Catholic Company is in the process of revising their book reviewer program, so this may be my last review for a while.
Today, I am reviewing Bambinelli Sunday by Amy Welborn. On the third Sunday of Advent each year, families gather in St. Peter's Square with their Christ Child nativity figures. The pope blesses these figures & the children during the Angelus prayer at Noon.
This story tells of young Alessandro who is staying with his grandparents while his parents are away. His grandparents live on the Via San Gregorio Armeno, a street in Naples full of shops where artists make figures for nativity sets.
To help Alessandro pass the time & cheer him up while his parents are away, Grandfather shows him how to make his own clay figure of the Christ Child. They make plans to take the trip to St. Peter's Square on Bambinelli Sunday for the special blessing.
For the most part, I really liked this story. The illustrations are beautiful. Throughout the book are bright colors & Catholic details. On the shelf in Grandfather's workshop, there is a picture of Saint Padre Pio & you can see the crucifix hanging in the kitchen where Grandmother is working.
There were a couple parts, though, that bothered me. While playing ball with his new friends, he kicked it & knocked over a local shopkeeper's display basket. This was the point when Grandfather decided to teach him to make his own figure, but he didn't encourage Alessandro to make amends to the other shopkeeper. He almost brushed it off by saying that the shopkeeper had plenty to refill his basket.
There was another instance when Alessandro made a bad choice after dropping his Christ Child figure. While Grandfather showed great understanding & unconditional love, Alessandro didn't receive any discipline. I'm not saying he should have been harshly punished, but there wasn't even any discussion over his action.
I let my children read this book to see what they thought. They liked the story, also. We used the above mentioned instances as teaching moments in apologizing & making amends when we do something wrong.