Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Christmas with Ornaments of Love

Decorating the Christmas tree is probably the best part of Christmas. Each Christmas leaves us with a set of beautiful memories with family and many of such memories from my childhood are of setting up the tree with my family. 

Over the years, our family has branched out and is scattered across three states. So the family reunion itself has become the best part of Christmas and setting up the tree has become secondary in the hustle and bustle. Ornaments of Love is a book that brought back to me those Christmas memories from when I was a little girl.

Ornaments of Love by Sharlin Craig

About the Book

Genre: Children's Illustrated Books, Christmas
Author: Sharlin Craig
Illustrator: Helen Monwuba
Publisher: Harmony Hearts Publishing
A touching Christmas story with glowing illustrations, Ornaments of Love is a story to cherish for years to come. A beautiful tale of Ayana, an endearing ten-year-old who excitedly anticipates that special time of year when the entire family joins together to decorate and admire the Christmas tree.
But sadly this year is different. Ayana realises that her mom and dad are far too busy with everything else to enjoy the tree with Ayana. Then, something unexpected happens and the family is brought together with tenderness and joy.
Filled to the brim and overflowing with charming moments, gentle humour, and timeless illustrations, this beautiful story is a wonderful reminder of what’s important not only during the Christmas season, but every day of our lives. Ornaments of Love is destined to become one of your favourite holiday stories. One that will remain in your heart forever.  

Book Review

This adorable book by Sharlin Craig is not just for children but for anyone in the family. In fact, it is us grown ups who forget to celebrate Christmas in its true spirit and who need to be reminded of these simple joys that are presented in the story. 

Ayana has a special memory associated with each Christmas ornament and some of these are memories shared by her parents, such as the red heart ornament which was from their first Christmas together. As I read this book, I was reminded of my own special Christmas ornaments some of which were made by my sister who blogs at The Crafty Angels.
Reading Ornaments of Love for Christmas

A sneak peek into my Christmas

Ayana's parents are caught in the Christmas hustle that she has to set up the tree herself this time. She asks her mom if they can all sit together in front of the fire and have hot chocolate like they do every year. But her mom is busy cooking for the Christmas party and so is her dad wrapping up his office work before the holiday. Though I can understand the latter having had a very hectic office schedule myself just before leaving home for Christmas, I think Ayana's mom could have included her in the cooking and that would've been a great way to spend time with her.

My favourite character in the story is Rosie, Ayana's black Labrador. I have a four-month old pup myself so I could really imagine how she must have stood by and watched Ayana decorate the tree. Children and pets are the harbingers of peace and happiness in every family and so are Rosie and Ayana in the story. 

Helen Monwuba's beautiful illustrations are what I love the most about this book. They are simple and adorable just like the whole story.

I would recommend Ornaments of Love not as a children's book but as a special Christmas book for everyone in the family. In fact, its colouring book version makes for a great family activity for the holiday season.

About the Author

Sharlin Craig, a Detroit native who now resides in southern California with her husband and daughter, is dedicated to writing inspirational children’s books that touch the spirit of her readers. A graduate of Oakland University, she’s taught music to children for several years while also writing music and lyrics. She’s combined her love for children and writing into authoring her debut children’s Christmas picture book, ‘Ornaments of Love’.
Sharlin believes that with the right surroundings and daily encouragement, children are boundless. She’s passionate about helping children feel understood and empowered through her books and hopes that her stories make them smile.
Learn more about her from her website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram to stay updated on her writing.

So I asked Sharlin what her cherished Christmas memories are, and this what she said:

Did I forget to tell you about the Ornaments of Love Colouring Book?

This colouring book includes a black and white version of the original picture book and has some great Christmas illustrations for everyone in the family. You can download some of the colouring pages from this book for free on Sharlin Craig's website. 

I hope you enjoy colouring these lovely designs just as much as I did. If you share your colouring pages on Twitter or Instagram, do mention me @priyaprithviraj. I would love to see them!

🎄 Get the Christmas colouring pages!

I'm truly thankful to you for being with me through this year-long journey of reading and blogging, and here's wishing you a wonderful year ahead. 

Do you have any special Christmas memories that you cherish? Let me know in the comments!