A Very Fiona Christmas by Richard Cowdrey

A heartwarming adventure featuring Fiona the hippo and all her lovable friends at the zoo as they look for the true meaning of Christmas.

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We didn't know a thing about Fiona the Hippo from the Cincinnati Zoo, but this colorful, sparkly-glittery cover had us falling in love with her before we even cracked open a page:

Then when we did open the book to begin reading, we discovered that its pages are filled with adorable illustrations of all the zoo animals!

This is the story of young hippo Fiona, who is experiencing her first Christmas at the zoo. She continuously asks her friends "Is this Christmas?" as they show her all the wonders and excitement of the season.

The tension builds as the true meaning of the holiday is revealed, which turns out to be...love.

I must say, I was totally expecting the animals to share the Good News about Jesus' birth in the final pages, so when the book ended differently, I was a bit disappointed.

That's not to say this isn't an adorable book -- and really, isn't Jesus' birth all about God's love for us, anyway? -- but it's enough to keep it from becoming one of my favorites in our holiday collection.

However, my minor disappointment easily becomes the book's strength in a different way, as this title is appropriate for any reader -- besides not mentioning Jesus, there's no mention of Santa, either.

No, the true focus of this book is on sharing love with others this holiday season, and it is whimsically portrayed through Fiona's adventures and as she befriends the zoo's newest inhabitant, a sweet little koala bear.

If you love adding adorable new picture books to your holiday collection, then this is a book for you. If you want a book that illustrates the importance of showering love on others, then this is a book for you. Just be aware that this is a Christmas book that conveys that the true meaning of holiday is love.

Grab a copy here and enjoy spending time with a zooful of cute characters on their Christmastime romp!

Also, be sure to click on over and read all about our Shepherd on the Search Journey Around the World materials, then grab your kit here in time to add some cultural, Christ-centered fun to your holiday countdown!

Do you think you would have had the same expectations as I did for this book's ending?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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