Monday, May 2, 2011

Children's Book Review: Chrissie's Shell

Media Type: Book
Title: Chrissie's Shell
Author: Brooke Keith
Publisher: Warner Press
Pages: Hardcover; 32
Release Date: September 1, 2010
Source: NetGalley
Recommended to: Parents looking for a book with a big message about being yourself.

Difficulty Level: I'd say higher level readers, since some of the words are a bit tricky. This is also the perfect read aloud book!

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N
Chrissie is a little turtle with a big problem: she believes her shell is empty. She spends her days comparing herself with other animals in the forest and imagining what it would be like to be them, only to end up disappointed again and again when she finds she cannot transform herself into someone new.

At last, when Chrissie is ready to give up all hope, she has a conversation with God. She begs Him to make her into a creature like the wonderful animals she has seen, but God has something better in mind. God explains why He has made Chrissie the way she is. He then directs her to the pond, where Chrissie finally captures a vision of herself as God sees her. She realizes her shell is not empty after all and that God loves her just the way she is. 

Wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated, Chrissie's Shell is the story of a little turtle who desperately wants to be someone else. To Chrissie, her shell is empty. She doesn't see herself as a "someone", and dreams daily about being another animal. Someone faster, stronger, or even just prettier. Through the story, Chrissie learns that being her is actually quite special, and that she was made that way intentionally.

Honestly I really loved this book. Although I'm no longer much of a church goer, the overall message in this book is one that I think can be shared with all, no matter what your religious affiliation. Chrissie's story shows children that they are who they are on purpose. That each person is different, and special! As Chrissie morns her empty shell, she actually keeps doing good deeds for others with what she is given. It's really quite touching.

I see this as a great story to share with a Sunday school class, or something read to a child before bed. The illustrations are bright, vivid and honestly quite adorable! I'm an adult and I still giggled when I saw the mouse with wheels for feet, as Chrissie compares him to a race car. There is a lot to love in this book, no matter what age you might be.

Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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