Asleep on the Hay: A Dust Bowl Christmas by Ben Sowards
It’s Christmas Eve when a knock comes at the door of Paul’s family farmhouse. A small family is stranded due to a broken-down truck and seeks shelter for the evening. Paul’s grandfather not only welcomes them in, but offers them dinner and a bed for the night. Even though it is a season of giving, Paul’s heart is not filled with charity. It’s the height of the Dust Bowl and food is scarce. Why should he share what little he has with strangers? Worse, in order to help the sick baby, Paul will have to sell his beloved calf to buy a part to fix the truck.
Angry, he retreats to the barn, where he sleeps and dreams of faraway Bethlehem. In his dream, he visits Mary and Joseph, and their newborn son, Jesus. The family offers Paul food and shelter and warmth—extending to him the love and charity he lacks and teaching him of the true meaning of Christmas.
Available on Amazon.
I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.
This is a wonderful Christmas story for all ages. It’s during the Dust Bowl and Paul and his grandfather have almost nothing. When a young couple stops and asks for help with their broken down truck on Christmas Eve, Paul can’t believe that his grandfather gives them half of their eager meal and then asks Paul to sacrifice the most precious thing he has left.
Along with the story are beautiful illustrations that are so realistic!
There are parallels between this story and the story of Jesus even before Paul dreams about that first Christmas. My favorite line is at the end of the book when Paul walks out of the darkness into the light.
Ben Sowards is the illustrator of many well-loved picture books, including A Christmas Dress for Ellen, Seven Miracles that Saved America, and Christmas Oranges.
Ben Sowards teaches others to paint both traditionally and digitally at Southern Utah University, where has directed the illustration program since 2001.
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