CoolBlooBridge

The insights and inventory of Dean W. Arnold

Tab’s Christmas Book

Written By: Dean W. Arnold

Every Christmas, my daughter and I collaborate on a children’s book about the Three Wise Men. She is the illustrator. I wrote it when she was three years old.

Today she is 16, and the book is 18 pages. So she has illustrated 14 pages so far, one a year since we began the project. The bottom right says “(P)AGE 3” etc., to capture the double meaning of how each page is a year in the process.

This whole thing originated one day when Tabitha’s mother showed me a drawing Tab had made of a bunny. She was two and half, and, to our surprise, it kinda looked a whole lot like a rabbit. That was the beginning of the realization that this kid had some serious artistic talent. (A few years later she grabbed some hot candle wax at church while bored and quickly sculpted a griffin with wings. I was stunned.)

Anyway, years before I saw the bunny, I had a children’s story in me I had always wanted to write about the Wise Men. It emerged after meditating on the bible story and being so intrigued by the fact that the smartest, most literate bible scholars in Jerusalem not only failed to identify the Christ child through their understanding of the Prophets, they actually used their knowledge to help Herod go kill him! (Go to Bethlehem, they told Herod. That’s where the Bible says the Christ child will come from.)

That bit of irony I thought would make a good twist for a story. And I kinda wanted to do the Dr. Seuss rhyming thing. So I wrote the first page of my story to include a bunny and used Tab’s early piece of art on (P)AGE 2. Since then, she’s illustrated a page of the story every year.

I’ve written a number of books and been involved in a number of creative projects, but this one I find extremely interesting and in some way it is an idea of which I am most proud.

This video gives a glimpse of the book and Tab’s drawings over the years. As usual, Jaime provides the comic relief.

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