In this Christmas-themed children’s picture book, Matthew, a baby angel, overcomes disappointment, learns patience, and discovers his special purpose.
Kurt D. Miller explores a fanciful world of heaven, where baby angels anxiously await their Earth Date—the day they will be born on Earth as humans. For poor Matthew, “it always seemed that when it was his turn to be born that he was overlooked.”
Finally, his name appears on the birth list: “Earth Date: December 25.” Matthew is devastated, however, when he learns that God scratched through his name to make way for the birth of the Savior. Ultimately, God rewards Matthew with an important task, a conclusion that encourages readers to have faith that disappointments will turn out to be blessings in disguise.
Miller’s tale is imaginative and quirky, with chubby cherubim “roam[ing] through the clouds.” Unfortunately, several issues impede its success: The book’s back cover promises an exhilarating adventure involving Satan tempting Matthew and an epic battle in the heavens, yet no such story unfolds; the writing requires editing to correct unnecessary wordiness and a plethora of punctuation and other mechanical errors; and the text is placed over artwork, frequently making it hard to read.
Most importantly, though, Miller veers wildly from biblical theology by conveying certain ideas: that humans originate and return to heaven as angels; that frailties like sadness, mischief, fear and jealousy exist in heaven; that the purpose of Jesus’ birth was simply to remind humans of God’s gifts; and that “only the good and the wise” were to know of the Savior’s birth. Because the book is clearly targeted to a devout Christian audience, this is likely to be offputting to many readers.
Undoubtedly, Miller aimed to delight younger audiences with this new addition to Christmas lore. The book requires revision, however, before it’s ready for readers.
Also available as an ebook.