Parents' Guide to

A Certain Small Shepherd

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Mute boy's Christmas play becomes strangely real.

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Is It Any Good?

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Keep a box of tissues handy when you and your children share this one together. Though nothing sad happens (the mother's death is handled matter-of-factly in one sentence right at the beginning), it is a tearjerker nonetheless. At any other time of year this might be too sappy for most tastes, but in December the rules change, and what once seemed mawkish becomes moving.

The gentle magic of the story, told in simple, lyrical language, is matched by the timeless rural setting, where people walk, children wear overalls, and farmers use horses to plow. The affectionate illustrations by renowned artist William Pene du Bois add a touch of humor. Unusually for an inexpensive paperback edition, they're abundant and in color. This is a lovely little book to share with young children on a December night by the fire.

Book Details

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