Monday, January 3, 2011

How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess

Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Who doesn't love this classic Christmas tale with a moral message? I wanted to review this book a few weeks ago, during the actual Christmas season, but had been unable to find a copy of it! Thanks to a great after-Christmas sale, I picked up a copy for our family and my 5-year daughter has requested to have it read to her no less than 20 times.

Most of us are familiar with the story line of  how the miserly, grouchy, Grinch attempts to take Christmas away from "the Who's down in Whoville (who like Christmas a lot)." In the end he is unsuccesful and  begins to see that Christmas "doesn't come from a store."

Positives: Very few authors can write for children like Dr. Suess. Kids and adults love his rhymes and the word pictures he paints. This is truly a classic piece of children's literature.

Negatives: The true meaning of Christmas is never given. Children are left to believe that Christmas is simply about being kind, generous and maybe a little less selfish.

Talking Points: There are several biblical elements in this story though it ultimately falls short of delivering a true gospel message.  However, it brings out great discussion topics for families. The Grinch is painted as a horrible, mean and selfish creature - not unlike ourselves.  Look at Romans 3:10,23 to see that we are all sinners. In God's sight we are sinners even more disgusting than the Grinch, so horrible that God cannot even stand to look at us. Talk to your children about their wicked, sinful hearts and explain that apart from Christ giving us His perfect righteousness, we would be forever separated from God (II Cor. 5:17-21). I would also be sure my children understood the reason why we celebrate Christmas - the birth of Christ. The story of course does not mention this. Read the biblical accounts in Matt. 1-2 and Luke 1-2. The story also talks about the Grinch's heart being too small. What a wonderful opportunity to address the need to examine our own spiritual hearts! The Grinch's problem - and ours - is that we possess a sinful heart. At the end of the story we hear that the Grinch's heart grows 3 sizes. Explain to your children that heart change only happens through the work of the Holy Spirit convicting us of our sin and showing us Christ and His work on the cross. Read Eph. 1 and Col. 1.

Age Level: 0-8

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