Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book Review: Samson's Gift by Ellen Diederich

Samson’s Gift
By Ellen Diederich
Publisher: Givinity Press
Published: October 29, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:
SAMSON’S GIFT wraps the historic ‘Babe in the Manger’ tale in a new cloak, and what a cloak it is; made of wool fit for a King. Its donor, Samson, is an orphaned lamb, adopted by Tedra, a shepherd’s daughter. As Samson matures, his unusually fine wool is due to be sheared, but thanks to Tedra, his protector, he escapes the shears. Enter Three Wise Men who have followed a special star that now illuminates a nearby stable in which they find a baby laid in a manger full of prickly straw, wrapped in strips of cloth torn from the parent’s clothing. Samson volunteers his precious wool to protect the newborn.

At the conclusion of this inspirational story about giving your best gift and giving for the right reason, is a glossary of sheep facts.

Young and old will delight in the author’s 24 empathetic paintings; she being Ellen Diederich, an acclaimed illustrator. Ellen knows her subject well having grown up on a farm and currently resides in Fargo, North Dakota.
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My Thoughts:

Samson’s Gift truly is a delightful story about an orphan lamb with the finest wool that he gives to the baby Jesus on the night of His birth. It is accompanied by beautiful paintings depicting each of the scenes.

I liked the author’s humour in reference to other bible stories. It shows that she has a basic knowledge of the stories of the bible. I also thought the page at the back of the book with the definitions and fun facts about sheep were an excellent addition to the book so that young and old could learn a little bit more about sheep.

The only thing I didn’t agree with in the book is that Tedra, the shepherdess that adopted Samson, lied in order to keep Samson from getting Samson being sheared when he was hiding. This makes it seem like lying is okay if the end result is a good one. Although this book is a fictional account of a bible story I felt it should still uphold the basic truths such as that lying is not okay so that lie really stuck out for me.

Due to lie, I had to knock off one star. I rated Samson’s Gift 4 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the publishers via NetGalley for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion is not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Ellen Jean Diederich has been painting professionally since 1985. Working primarily as a watercolorist, she has expanded her painting into acrylic. Her passion for painting came long before her recognition as an award winning artist.

Growing up on a farm in Staples, Minnesota, she had excellent high school art teachers. She went on to MSUM where she graduated with a B.F.A. in Fine Art and a B.A. in Art Education. Part of her college years she developed strong drawing skills by drawing portraits at various businesses.

In addition to her painting, Ellen has written and illustrated two books and is now working on a third. The Ben Franklin Award winning Where’s Petunia? is a full color hard cover children’s book. The playful story follows the adventure of two cats, Art and Petunia, featuring Ellen’s original watercolors. In her most recent book, Progressive Painting: Your Creative Journey, she shares insightful tips for successful painting. The book is designed to help artists at any level build their creative processes. Ellen’s third book, Samson’s Gift, will be released summer of 2014. Samson’s Gift is written for children as a Christmas story about the sheep who learns the lesson of giving and giving for the right reasons. 

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