|Country United States|
Pages 24 (2nd ed.)
Originally published 2002
Genre Children's literature
Illustrator Joan Summer
|Publisher Winepress Publishing (Hardcover, 2nd ed.)
Moody Press (1st ed.)|
Publication date Sept. 2002 (2nd ed.) 1963 (1st ed.)
Similar The Sparkle Box, A Christ‑Centered Christma, Dark on the Outside Bright on, The Greatest Gift
A Gift for Jesus is a children's religious book, intended for ages 4 to 8, written and illustrated by Joan Summer.
A curious young boy has a worry about the upcoming Christmas season - what to give Jesus for a present? As he already received spiritual gifts from Jesus, he wonders what he could possibly give Him in return. The rhyming verses and cherubic drawings show the boy as he imagines himself a pirate, a farmer, a sailor, etc., handing Jesus extravagant gifts. Summer alternates color with black & white illustrations, giving the reader a glimpse of a child's imagination. By the tale's end he reaches a much simpler conclusion.
Summer's books tell stories about the small and large wonders of the world from a child's perspective. A Gift for Jesus, looks at the tradition of Christmas gift-giving from a Christian perspective. As Jesus "gave his life" for the boy, he in turn hopes to return the favor in a very small way. The book's ending may lead a child to additional questions regarding the Christian faith.
A Gift for Jesus was originally published in 1963 by Moody Press (Chicago) as the 2nd book in a series of four children's books for preschoolers, called the "Tiny Tots" series. It received a second printing in 2002 by Winepress Publishing. The series also included I Wonder Why, Come and See, and I Saw a Mother Chicken.
As a mother of three, Summer found inspiration for her stories "in the questions of her young children." With her background as an elementary school teacher, Summer specializes in the drawings of children, revealing their inquisitive nature and their retained innocence. In 2010 Summer said, “It was really the nice art in others’ children’s books that inspired me.” She has cited the American author/ illustrator Tasha Tudor as an artistic inspiration; as well as the illustrations of Joan Walsh Anglund; and Gyo Fujikawa. Another personal favorite of hers is the famous British author/illustrator Beatrix Potter. Summer was cited in the July/August 2010 "Peoria Arts Magazine" as a "creative artist" who calls Central Illinois home. The article discusses her passion for art and sources of inspiration.