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Reviews of Gabriel's Magic Ornament

"No 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."

Paul S. Fiddes, Principal Emeritus

Regents Park College, Oxford

                                                        

"A 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.

— Harry L. Poe

Program Director

C. S. Lewis Summer Institute, Oxford 

                                                     

The family is delighted with [Gabriel’s Magic Ornament]; I have re-read it; and a thirteen-year-old church friend said that she could not put it down! A 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

Canon Theologian of Leicester Cathedral 

and of Southwell Minster

                                                         

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.

A 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. 


Guided 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 of Christmas.


Gabriel's 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.

Kathryn Lively

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.

                                          

Chris 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. Randall 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.


Laura Joy Francis

Heartland Review

                                                            


Gabriel's Magic Ornament, is a new "REAL SANTA CHOICE AWARD" Best Seller (an award that I created especially for this delightful Christmas book).

It's not just a children's book, you must read it to BELIEVE...

In 1993 Randall sent me the original manuscript prior to the first publication in 2002. I began reading it to my 3rd grade students. The children were absolutely intrigued by Randall's book. They always were out of sorts with me when we had to stop, begging me to read more.

The enchanting sequel, Widgmus World, is also available on Amazon.

Susan E. McMillian (Amazon reader)

                                                              

This book was given to me last Christmas. I read it over several nights with my children. What an amazing mix of christian literature and Christmas spirit. Not only loved reading about Chris and Laura's adventures but also loved the discussions with my children following each chapter. I truly hope this book gets the recognition it deserves and that someone will send it to Steven Spielberg! What an awesome movie it could be. Looking forward to reading this book again and also his new book over the holidays this year.

Carellen (Amazon reader)

                                                  

When my grandson, age 7, learned that this book had a sequel, he said, "Wow!" "I didn't know there was another one." Needless to say, he loved it and looks forward to his mom or me reading Widgmus World to him and his brothers.

For me, it was a fun read. It has the good versus evil, sacrifice and happy ending that I like to see in fantasy books. It is thought-provoking for discussion possibilities for reading as a family. I appreciated the Glossary of Curious Facts.


Apple Russell (Amazon reader)

                                                   

I always loved this book growing up so I decided to re-read it for Christmas this year. I still love the whole Christmas ornaments come to life thing, but I didn't remember it being so religious. But I still think it's cute and I still think about this story whenever I decorate a Christmas tree and come up with elaborate stories in my mind about the ornaments.

Andrea (Goodreads)

                                                

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.


A 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. Guided through each "branch" of Arboria by a mysterious, blue-robed woman, Chris and Laura come to understand the true spirit of Christmas.

Gabriel's Magic Ornament is an enjoyable tale appropriate for the 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 imaginative alternative to secularized holiday stories and television specials.


Kathy (Goodreads)

                                           


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. It 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!

Adam Winters (Amazon reader)

                                                 

  An amazingly written children's book with powerful lessons for today's culture. Chris 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.
Gabriel's Magic Ornament is destined to be one of the 21st century's most notable books. Throughout 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 Jr. Tolkien. Children 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!

BW Ministries (Amazon reader)

                                               


My 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.

Vann Winn (Amazon reader)

                                                 

Gabriel's 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 fast paced. Bush has given us a new classic that stresses "love," not "loot," as the reason for the season.

Carol Wiener (Amazon reader)

                                               

I will never be able to look at a tin soldier the same again. Beautiful, 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.

Peggy E. Smith (Amazon reader)

                                                 

Love the new look of the cover. One of my favorite reads for the special season. Great message about the true meaning of Christmas. Thanks for the reprinting.

Carol Wiener (Amazon reader)