Tuesday, December 17, 2013

367 (2013 #51). The Starlight Bride

by Paul Owen Lewis

I don't remember holiday books from my own childhood so much as I remember books I read to my own offspring about 20-25 years ago.  One that I still have in my Christmas box is this one, The Starlight Bride, written and illustrated by Paul Owen Lewis and published in 1988, when my son was two.

This book isn't really about Christmas, but it is set during Advent - which right there makes it rather unique for children's books!  A prince must marry before taking over the kingdom from his old father the king, and (as in Cinderella), noble women from the surrounding area are invited to come and stay the month of Advent, during which time the prince (Bachelor style) interacts with each of the ladies in a variety of social environments.  When it comes time to make a choice, though, he cannot make up his mind.  He asks God to give him a particular sign to indicate the right woman.

On the book jacket, Lewis says the book was based on a friend's dream, "in which she saw me with an elderly man in a courtyard surrounded on three sides by little houses with different-colored doors.  At each we knocked, and each opened to reveal a different young woman who invited us in to visit.  The dream fascinated me, and I couldn't help but see it as a story of father and son, or King and Prince, seeking the perfect mate.  Reflecting on my own experiences and desires, I projected myself into the scene and the story practically wrote itself."

This beautiful book has a lovely message and gorgeous illustrations, full of rich, vibrant color.  I especially like the border designs around the main picture on each page. I also like the fact that the story is set in a place that does NOT have snow at Christmastime.  For a girl who grew up in a Gulf Coast climate, that is important!

© Amanda Pape - 2013

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