It’s never too early to get ready for Christmas, according to this brisk collection of devotional verse for children.
For Christians, the season of Advent is a time of preparation. So great is the joy and mystery of Jesus’ birth that believers take four full weeks to ready themselves for that miracle. This slim volume is written in the spirit of Advent; in it, Meyer (Hootch, 2015) gives readers verse intended to help children prepare for the arrival of baby Jesus. Appropriately, then, her poems are short and eminently readable. Take, as one example, “Baby Moses”: “Baby Moses was saved from a bad king, / Just as baby Jesus was. / Moses grew up in a palace, in riches, / But he loved his people more. / Jesus, too, was rich, / But for us, He became poor. / When He was with His disciples, He said / That He did not have a place to lay His head.” Meyer’s simple language ensures that her message won’t be lost on young or old. Like “Baby Moses,” many other poems in the collection take on Old Testament themes. Thus, there are pieces here on early biblical heroes, among them Adam and Eve’s son Seth; Abraham, initiator of the covenant; and Israel’s great King David. In Meyer’s eyes, these Hebrew biblical standouts are important mainly because they pave the road for Jesus. Yet the poet saves some of her best language for Christ himself. In an early poem, she borrows a famous metaphor from the author of the Gospel of John to hail the arrival of the savior: “The Baby in the manger is the Light of the World. / He separated the darkness from the Light. / And when we celebrate the best celebrations of all, Being with our Savior in Heaven, / There will be no need for sun or moon, For He will be the only light.” Perhaps the only failing of the volume is that there’s so little poetry. Meyer offers readers just 30-odd brief works, and the result is less a book than a pamphlet. Yet maybe she’s just following P.T. Barnum’s old maxim: always leave them wanting more.
Accessible holiday poetry for the younger set.