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Laurel Guillen

Laurel Guillen

A Bellwether Christmas: A Novel Inspired by True Events

Author Laurel Guillen tells the story of the birth of the Christmas nativity, through the eyes of a little orphaned lamb.

This is a sweet story about a little orphaned lamb named Bart, who lives in a small settlement in Greccio, Italy, in the thirteen century. Bart is a friendly, curious, and mischievous little lamb. He frequently escapes his pen so he can meet his farmyard friends and explore the world around him. While out grazing in the field, Bart meets Seconda, a young hare. Seconda tells Bart a story about a man who could speak to animals and saved her grandfather from a trap. Then, while out exploring the pasture, Bart meets Mr Lark, who also tells the story of a wise and mysterious man who can speak to the animals. One day, Bart and his friend Ginevra wriggle through a fence to find the best plants, and stumble across a lone wolf, Lupo. Lupo also describes a man who can talk to the animals and saved him from being hunted and killed by the towns people. Lupo explained that the man and his Brothers would soon be arriving in Greccio for the Christmas season.

As Christmas approaches, Bart is excited to meet the mysterious man who can talk to animals. When a group of four strange men arrive in the town, Bart recognises one of the men from his friend’s description. Bart, and the other animals greet the travellers, and the man introduces himself as Brother Francesco, and his companions, Brothers Giles, Angelo, and Simon. Brother Francesco invites Bart, his shepherd Mundo, and an Ox and a Donkey, to a special Christmas Eve event – a nativity that has never been seen outside the Holy Land. Bart and his friends take part in the special nativity to help the townspeople imagine the night when Baby Jesus was born. The next day, Bart joins the Christmas day festivities at Greccio castle. He is given a special bell by Lord Giovanni and invited to be part of the Christmas nativity celebration every year.

A Bellwether Christmas by author Laurel Guillen is a beautiful novel for newly independent readers, about love, belonging, honor and praise. The book tells the story of Brother Francesco (St Francis of Assisi) and the birth of the Christmas nativity. The story is told through the eyes of a sweet and mischievous little lamb, and will appeal to younger readers in this age category. The book would make a great family read on Christmas Eve, and a perfect Christmas gift.

Star rating: 5 Stars

Summary: A beautiful novel of love, belonging, honor and praise, told through the eyes of a sweet and mischievous little lamb.

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