Andrew Beckham’s magical story, “The Lost Christmas Gift” is the perfect addition to any family’s traditional Christmas book collection. This beautifully written book starts off with Emerson Johansson receiving a package that has been lost in the mail for seventy years. The package contains a book that was handmade by his father, a US Army Cartographer, while he was away at war.
This heartfelt gift recalls the story of the Christmas adventure that both Emerson and his father shared the months prior to his father’s departure. While searching for the perfect Christmas tree, Emerson and his father become lost and need to hunker down in the forest during a winter storm. They see a mysterious man as he leaves gifts of twigs, coal and skis. Each item is meticulously left to help the father and son weather the storm and find their way home.
The book contains photographs that Emerson had taken that day with his new camera and had thought were missing all these years. In each picture that was taken the mystifying man is never seen as anything more than a bright light. In the gift to his son, his father had hand drawn pictures of the person that they saw that day onto Mylar paper which was overlaid onto the photographs. With each turning page Emerson is reminded of his father and all the magic that had taken place that day.
The book’s beautiful drawings, maps and photographs assist in recounting the tale of a father and son’s encounter and the kindness of a stranger. I love how the book reads with one story over another, taking you back to the day of the adventure and hearing it from both the views of Emerson and his father. You really feel as if you are actually viewing the gift and hearing Emerson’s thoughts and feelings as he is reading it for the first time. This story is what the true spirit of Christmas is all about. Andrew Beckman’s, “The Lost Christmas Gift” captivates older children and adults alike and is certain to become a Christmas classic that can be shared for many years to come. Purchase your copy here.
Special thanks to Princeton Architectural Press for providing a book for review.