Friday, November 2, 2012

Review and Giveaway The Sparkle Box - A Gift With The Powre To Change Christmas

Christmas is only 52 days away!!! Are you ready? Do you have "A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas?" Well if your on the look for one then "The Sparkle Box" is just what you need. This fabulous book is targeted for children ages 4-8 yrs old but it will definitely become a favorite for the ENTIRE family. 

A moms review:
The Sparkle Box is a beautifully illustrated 32 page 10x10 hardcover book which even included your very own sparkle box. The book is published by Ideals Publications and written by Jill Hardie and illustrated by Christine Kornacki.

I was more than EXCITED to be selected for this review. I was ecstatic, overjoyed, thrilled..... Before signing up for the review I watched the trailer and immediately knew this was a book that I needed to  read to my children. I am always on the search for heartwarming, wonderfully illustrated books that teach children valuable life lessons. I get so frustrated with books that talk down to children, treat them like they are not intelligent and have no lesson to be learned. 

THE SPARKLE BOX - Official Book Trailer from Ideals Books on Vimeo.

I would like to issue a mascara warning for this book. Yup this momma cried while reading it. I automatically consider any book I cry during a 5 STAR book. 

The Sparkle Box is about a young boy named Sam who learns the "REAL" meaning of Christmas and the secret about the special gift inside the Sparkle Box. Sam just like every other boy and girl has begun to make his Christmas list. At the top of the list is a shiny red train that he spotted at the toy store. But at home Sam begins to get even more excited and a little (okay a lot) curious about a beautiful sparkly silver box with a blue bow that sits on the mantel. He asks his mom what is in the box and she replies that its a special gift which has not yet been filled. The next day Sam and his mom drop off food and blankets at a local shelter. Sam is confused, he didn't notice anyone in the building that looked hungry or cold and he doesn't quite understand  how someone could not have enough food to eat or blankets to keep warm. On the way home he spots a man sleeping on a park bench and his mother explains to him that the man has no place to live and is probably someone who would receive some of the items they donated. At home Sams curiosity sparks again and he asks his mom if the Sparkle Box has been filled yet. His mom tells him that she has indeed placed something into the box but that its not ready to be opened yet because a couple more things must be added.

Now because I don't want to spoil the amazing book for you I will not continue to tell you all the amazing things Sam and his family do for others throughout the Christmas season which helps show Sam how fortunate his family really is. Every time Sam asks what in the Sparkle Box his mom tells him that another item has been added but that it's not quite ready yet. Then Christmas morning arrives. A very excited Sam runs down the stairs to spot a shiny red train in front of the Christmas tree along with the sparkly silver Sparkle Box. With tons of excitement Sam lifts the lid on the box and inside he finds 3 pieces of paper. Puzzled he begins to read the words on the paper........Now go buy the book or enter the giveaway to find out the SECRETS inside the SPARKLE BOX.

This book is fabulous and after reading the book just one time to the children both understood what the message was. They were very excited to put our Sparkle Box together and to show their daddy when he got home from work. They explained that Sparkle Box was where we put gifts for Jesus to give to him on his birthday.

Prior to receiving "The Sparkle Box" we had already begun getting prepared to spread JOY to those less fortunate this Christmas season. I had heard about a fabulous organization called Operation Christmas Child at a local homeschool expo several months ago and decided that we were going to put together a couple of shoe boxes with all sorts of goodies to send to a child in need somewhere in the World. I am so happy to share that we were also able to get several families from our homeschool group on board and should have about 20+ boxes to drop off at a local church. So the first item we put in our Sparkle Box was a slip of paper with Operation Christmas Child written on it. Yesterday we also wrote 5 "Letters of Thanks" to soldiers overseas. They will receive these letters around Thanksgiving. I had also explained to the children that we don't just need to do selfless acts at Christmas and that we can do them all year round. 

Other items we hope to add to our Sparkle Box this Christmas season are: donate coats to a coat drive, donate 5 toys to Dollar Trees Operation Homefront, make a monetary donation to St. Judes, write Christmas cards to soldiers, donate food to a food pantry and donate 2 toys to toys for tots. If you need some ideas be sure to check out the Sparkle Box Gift Ideas and Activities and Materials tabs on The Sparkle Box website (there is even a coloring page).
Each December I lay out our favorite Christmas books on our coffee table and The Sparkle Box is certainly going to be finding a spot on the table and cherished for years to come.

I hope you will join believers across the country as we do selfless acts this Christmas season and offer them up to Jesus as our gift to Him!

"You are the light of the world - like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see." Matthew 5:14 (NIV)

Here is the touching story of a young boy who unknowingly participates in a powerful new Christmas tradition: honoring Jesus on His birthday by giving to others.

Sam is so excited about Christmas! He's thinking about his Christmas list, looking forward to holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift: a sparkly box sitting on the mantel. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others. On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the Sparkle Box, he finds only slips of paper that record the family's good deeds. Sam's mom explains that the things that they've been doing are, in fact, a gift for Jesus, for Jesus said that whatever we do for those in need, we do for Him.

Author Bio
Author Jill Hardie and her family began placing a gift for Jesus under their Christmas tree as a way of bringing more meaning to the holiday.  The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away and they felt a profound joy and peace.  Jill hopes that The Sparkle Box will spark a new Christmas tradition, bringing light into thousands of lives.  

Illustrator Bio
At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life.  After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children's books began to take shape. She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut. 

Gwyns review (6 yrs old):
I liked the book a lot it had the Christmas spirit. My favorite picture in the book is of the Jesus stable. I learned that its good to show goodness to people who need help. Giving to people who need help makes me happy and Jesus happy. 

Links to follow:
-The Sparkle Box Facebook
-The Sparkle Box Website
-Author Video

Where to buy:
You can visit The Sparkle Box website or your local bookstore to purchase the book for $19.99. You can also purchase The Sparkle Box on Amazon, right now its on SALE!

Now time for the giveaway:  Ideals Publications has graciously offered to give away a copy of the The Sparkle Box to one lucky reader. Only the first entry is mandatory. Other entries are optional and give you extra chances. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook in any way. The winner will be posted on the blog and will be emailed. Winner must reply within 48 hrs with their contact information or another winner will be chosen. Prize will be mailed via the marketing company.

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*Disclaimer - I received a copy of The Sparkle Box in return for my honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." Please note that prices indicated in the post are subject to change. I was not compensated for my review and all opinions are our own! Many of the links found on my side bars and in my blog posts are affiliate links. As a result, I might get paid money and I will most likely spend the money on homeschool supplies.


Dawn Forman said...

This sounds like a book that I need to add to our collection.

Jalynn Patterson said...

We always pick one family every year and do something nice for them at Christmas.

BalancingMama (Julie) said...

About 4 years ago, our family gave up buying Christmas gifts among the adults. So now I take the money I used to spend on all those gifts and instead buy as many toys as I can to donate to Toys For Tots.

Jill Hardie said...

Hi Kathy, Thank you for reviewing The Sparkle Box! I just love your review and was so moved that your children are already thinking of Jesus and what they are giving Him for Christmas this year! Your six year old gave such a sweet review, too! Please thank Gwyn for me and tell both your children I am so happy to hear they are giving to others and that I know Jesus is going to love the Sparkle Box gifts they're giving him this year!

--Jill Hardie

Tiffany said...

We don't go all out for Christmas, but instead take our extra gift money and buy presents for local foster kids in need.

Judy said...

We go to the Samaritan's Purse catalog and purchase something for someone in need in another country.

coley r said...

we do angek tree at our church

Tami Vollenweider said...

I have a home for the Elderly nearby and I have given Lotions and Bath Products for them

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