“The Night the Lights Went Out on Christmas” by Ellis Paul. (Book Review)

The whole family – Dolly through her grandfather- is head over heels for this new Christmas book from guitarist Ellis Paul!  Ellis is an acclaimed singer-songwriter with 20 years of great song writing under his belt, and now he is officially a children’s book author! His awesome song “The Night the Lights Went Out on Christmas” is the inspiration for this really clever tale about the true meaning of Christmas. With all of the over-decorating that happens around the holidays, it is easy to become lost in the shopping, the decorations…  One neighborhood is donned “Christmas Block” because the residents compete to outdo eachother to such a degree that they blow a fuse and cause a world-wide blackout. Only after the darkness comes can they see the light… the bright stars in the sky, now illuminated, bring the neighbors together, reminding them what Christmas is really about (“See, all it took on Christmas night / to guide three kings was one star’s light”), and from then on, they celebrate Christmas Eve together in a more simple way.

This is a really funny story, with bright illustrations that pop off the page, by Scott Brundage.  Dolly, as the neighbors in the book did, truly got caught up in the tangle of jewel-toned, electric lights, and all the holiday excitement that it portrayed. She and her dad read it together and they both strummed along to the mp3 😉  But its the heartwarming message that will touch your soul and perhaps make you reevaluate how you are spending your own holiday. The not-quite-rhymes keep you on your toes, but if you are a musical person, I actually found it a really engaging, thoughtful read, and on the second pass through, I quite liked the way the “lyrics” worked to tell the story. This book is a electric Christmas gem…Whether or not you are already an Ellis Paul fan, you are sure to be now, as this book comes with a free downloadable mp3 that brings the book even more to life! You can download it here: “The Night the Lights Went Out on Christmas“.

Title: The Night the Lights Went Out on Christmas
Author: Ellis Paul
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Pages: 32