AND REVIEWER RESPONSES
WHAT LITERARY CRITICS IN THE WORLD TODAY ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS BOOK...
Christmas tree will ever look the same again after you have read Randall
Bush's piece of Christmas magic. Among
the branches of this familiar tree he creates a whole world of good,
evil and salvation. Echoes of John Bunyan, C. S. Lewis and the Bible
abound, as do humorous side-swipes at the absurdities of our present-day
world, but it is the author's own vivid imagination that will keep the
young reader turning the page. Randall Bush tells a good story, and
I commend it as a way of sharing in the best story of love."
S. Fiddes, The Principal, Regent's Park College, Oxford
delightful fantasy tale, that carries the reader along within a world
comparable with that of C.S. Lewis's Narnia books. It
conveys an unobtrusive spiritual dimension, but will also entrance most
especially young readers of between eight and fourteen, and will also
be enjoyed by readers of all ages. The book is an ideal gift for children,
especially at the Christmas season."
Anthony C. Thiselton, Emeritus Professor of Christian Theology, University
of Nottingham, England, and Canon Theologian of Leicester Cathedral
and of Southwell Minster
Christmas tale destined to become a classic! Oxford
graduate Randall Bush continues in the tradition of Lewis Carroll, J.
R. R. Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis in his ability to create a world of imagination."
L. Poe, Program Director, C. S. Lewis Summer Institute, Oxford
FIVE HEARTS BY HEARTLAND REVIEW
and Laura's father brings home a Christmas tree ornament said to have
the power to give an exciting Christmas dream. Chris and Laura place
the ornament on the tree together and get more than they bargained for.
They are transported to Arboria, where the wicked Lesnit is spreading
greed and hatred throughout the land, and has set his sights on conquering
the beloved Tree King, ruler of Arboria. Chris and Laura, protected
by the angelic Lady, get first-hand experience with the struggle between
good and evil, and come to understand the true meaning of Christmas.
Bush weaves a fascinating tale steeped in Christian metaphor. Both children
and adults will find this story not only entertaining, but also meaningful
on many different levels! We rated this book five hearts."
Joy Francis, Heartland Review
GREAT GIFT FOR BORED KIDS
is a gloomy December day, some of the lights on the Christmas tree have
gone out, and Chris and Laura are stuck inside the house. They are bored
and argumentative. When their father arrives home with a fresh string
of lights, he also brings a special new Christmas ornament. As Chris
and Laura argue about who should hang the new ornament, they compromise
and set it up together. The instant they touch it, they are swept into
a vortex that Chris describes as 'The Twilight Zone' and Laura insists
is 'like Oz'. They have been taken to Arboria, or Christmas Tree Land.
Here they meet many strange individuals and have several adventures
while trying to help save Arboria from the evil Lesnit. Only then can
they return home. This is a charming new Christmas story, with several
layers for readers of different ages. It is a great read-aloud for 4th
grade and above, and includes a delightful "Glossary of Curious
Facts" that is both educational and entertaining.
Bush is a local author who visited with 88 fifth grade students. He
is enthusiastic and fun. He discussed his progress as a writer, gave
some pointers for those who would like to write (don't ever give up),
read parts of the book, and signed copies afterward.
children thoroughly enjoyed the visit and, after he read the first section,
clambered for more! The book definitely kept their attention.
Jesseman, Librarian/Media Specialist, Jackson, TN, Reviewer for LM Net.
CHRISTMAS TELEVISION SPECIALS SAYS CATHOLIC AND CHRISTIAN BOOK REVIEWS
9/10 (on ten point scale) by Kathryn Lively, Author of Little Flowers
and Saints Preserve Us
In this delightful chapter book for middle readers, siblings
Chris and Laura are feeling pre-Christmas cabin fever. A yard of
snow beckons to them for a day of fun, yet they are told to stay
inside lest they catch a cold. The children grumble complacently,
desiring adventure, unaware that their father is about to bring
it to them in the form of a new Christmas ornament for their tree.
fanciful tale of Gabriel's Christmas Ornament, where the person who
hangs it experiences an incredible holiday dream, intrigues Chris and
Laura enough to share the honor. Suddenly both children are transported
to the land of Arboria, where the Orna folk dwell in anticipation of
Christmas. As Chris and Laura soon discover, however, the Orna vision
of the holiday is not as it should be an atmosphere of greed
and ill-will has cast a pallor over the land. "Maids a milking"
are actually "milking" people of their money, a sweets shop
owner has a devious method of obtaining raw materials for her goods,
and a convention of Santas is anything but jolly.
through each "branch" of Arboria by a mysterious, blue-robed
woman known only as "The Lady," with a lovely visage
and bearing a crown of twelve stars Chris and Laura are rewarded
for toughing out the hardships of Arboria with a visit to the real Saint
Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, who helps them to understand the true spirit
Magic Ornament is an enjoyable tale appropriate for the Advent and Christmas
season, a story alive with Biblical allegory that does not talk down
to its young readers (a helpful glossary of terms is included to boost
a child's understanding of the Biblical references within the story).
Blending Biblical and secular history with a style reminiscent of CS
Lewis's Narnia tales, author Bush offers an imaginitive alternative
to secularized holiday stories and television specials.
is the author of Little Flowers
(Highbridge Press, 2001) and Saints Preserve Us (Wings ePress, 2003).
She is the editor of The Write Stuff newsletter for Catholic writers
and the founder of FrancisIsidore Electronic Press, an e-book publisher
specializing in Catholic fiction.
book you won't tire of reading over and over when your kids ask!
adventurous allegory mixes Harry Potter, Narnia, and the Christmas works
of Charles Dickens into a story thats colorful enough for kids
and insightful enough for adults. The evil Lesnit is overtaking Arboria,
the world inside a Christmas Tree that one reaches by placing Gabriels
Magic Ornament on the tree and instantly shrinking down to the size
of the Orna people (ornaments, get it?).
like Narnia, is becoming an accursed place to live where bottomless
pits crop up everywhere and endless wars are waged of which no one can
remember the cause. Our intrepid brother and sister endure much hardship
as they try to help the Orna people reach Tree Top and its star once
delightful "Glossary of Curious Facts" is included that helps
explain the allegorical elements for readers who havent picked
them up along the way. This paperback is a worthy addition to your Christmas
tradition, one that you wont tire of reading over and over when
your kids ask!
PAGE-TURNING STORY OF TRUE MAGIC
Bush has created a masterpiece of Christian literature with particular
emphasis on the idea of "true magic" and
what it should mean to the celebration of the Christmas holiday.
succeeds in portraying the gospel of Christ without falling into the
trap of being "preaching" or merely reciting the Romans Road
and hoping for the best. Humor is certainly one of the novel's main
draws; many of the characters will remind readers of people they know(or
wish they didn't know). However, its purpose is to educate the reader
about the tradition of Christmas and to ultimately draw them to the
value of love and child-like faith. Did I enjoy it? Hey, not
every book can give you a reason to believe in Santa Claus again!
Winters, Jackson, TN, January 27, 2003
BOOK THAT MAKES THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS COME ALIVE
wife and I bought this book for our 10 year old son just prior to Christmas.
He absolutely loved it. The characters seem to come alive and often
remind you of everyday people. Dr. Bush truly makes the spirit of Christmas
come alive in this fasinating fantasy tale that teaches as it tells.
The illustrations are great and help your imagination to vividly see
the story as you read it. I would recommend this book for all children
and any adult who wants a fun read.
Winn, Jackson, TN, February 6, 2003
CHRISTMAS "LOVE" NOT CHRISTMAS "LOOT"
Magic Ornament was not only an original approach to the true meaning
of Christmas, but also a book that can appeal to readers of all ages.
Episodic with multilevels of symbolism, the story is meaningful and
has given us a new classic that stresses "love," not "loot," as the reason for the season.
Wiener, Houston, TX, January 15, 2003
FRESH BOOK WITH A TIMELESS MESSAGE!
amazingly written children's book with powerful lessons for today's
and his sister Laura are magically transported to the land of Arboria,
which is dying due to the evil Lesnit. After arriving at the Star at
Tree Top (with the help of the guardian "Lady") they aid to
save this almost extinguished world. In this epic work, the siblings
meet some unique characters that teach practical, applicable life lessons.
Magic Ornament is destined to be one of the 21st century's most notable
the text, Randall Bush educates the reader with the issues that face
youth in culture today. This book is written with profound imagery,
yet, simplistic enough to grab the mind and heart. Children, and adults
alike, will have their imaginations explode with curiosity as they tour
with the characters on their journey. Without a doubt, this book ranks
with the likes of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
from all walks of life have commented on how Gabriel's Magic Ornament
has grabbed their attention. You, and your child, will think the same!"
Ministries from Martin, Tennessee USA, January 14, 2003
"IMAGINATIVE," SAYS READING SPECIALIST
a reading specialist in the public schools, I
would rate Randall Bush's book, Gabriel's Magic Ornament, as a classic
waiting to be discovered.
replete with symbolism, it can be understood by youngsters at the same
time that it will intrigue the imaginations of adult readers
found it a liberating experience to read a children's book author who
communicates an interesting story and meaningfully challenges the minds
of his readers.
McMillian, Houston, Texas, January 13, 2003
SAYS, "I WILL NEVER LOOK AT A TIN SOLDIER THE SAME AGAIN.
with enough fun that you don't realize how many lessons you are learning
about how to make it through the tree of your life without falling into
the dark pits."
E Smith, Henderson, TN, United States, January 29, 2003