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Even when we had no little ones in the house, I’ve enjoyed a good children’s book here and there. Picture books have a special place in my heart. When written for a child and illustrated to reinforce the plotline, a story becomes more compelling to them.
Little Shepherd is the latest children’s picture book that we’ve had the pleasure to read. And, the timing so close to Christmas couldn’t be more perfect!
Disclaimer ~ Our family was sent a copy of Little Shepherd to facilitate this review. No monetary compensation has occurred. All opinions are our own. You can find a list of other bloggers reviewing this title at the Little Shepherd Virtual Book Publicity Tour page.
This is the first children’s book by Cheryl C. Malandrinos. The story of Christ’s birth is familiar to many. She has done a lovely job weaving a story which features a young shepherd bearing witness to this pivotal point in history.
About Little Shepherd
Obed is the young shepherd (a mere five years old) who has just been given the responsibility of tending a flock of sheep. He is vigilant to possible threats to the flock. Suddenly, the group of shepherds is visited by an angel announcing Christ’s birth with the invitation to visit the Savior.
Obed is hesitant to go. He worries about all that could go wrong if the flock is left untended. He does follow his father and others to see this new babe laying in a manger. But, it is what he finds when they return to the flock that cements the miracle which has occurred.
Complimenting Ms. Malandrinos’ story are the illustrations by Eugene Ruble. He does a marvelous job of using colors that seem both bright and muted. I was also impressed with his ability to convey emotions through the expressions of Obed, the other shepherds and even Mary and Joseph.
Q&A with the author of Little Shepherd
Q1: When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I always knew I wanted to be one of two things: a writer or a teacher. As a mom, I’ll always be a teacher, but writing came to me much later. While I began writing as a teen, it wasn’t until I became a stay-at-home mother in 2004 that I pursued my writing dreams.
Q2: Who has influenced you in your desire to become an author?
Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House books, and Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote the Anne of Green Gables series, have largely influenced my writing. I’ve always enjoyed historical books. The settling of the West is such an intriguing part of America’s history; and when brought to light by an author who can engage her audience, it gives readers a chance to learn about the past without being forced to read a dry text book. Montgomery, like Wilder, had a keen eye for detail. The reader gets drawn in while traveling along the road to Green Gables with Anne the first time. I hope my stories can capture some of what these women did so well.
Q3: What was your inspiration for writing The Little Shepherd?
When my ten-year-old daughter was around two or three, I would sit in her room at night and sing Christmas carols to her. Many make great lullabies. Each time I would sing The Little Drummer Boy, I would get the idea to write a story of a little shepherd boy in the hills outside Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth. While the final story is different than what I first imagined, I still believe it captures the idea God planted on my heart.
Q4: Do you have plans for another book already or waiting on inspiration?
I’m happy to say that my second book, A Christmas Kindness, was contracted by 4RV Publishing. We’re hoping for a fall 2012 release date. I also have several projects in the works.
Thank you, Cheryl for being so lovely to work with on this review.