Upcoming Best-Seller, First Christmas, an Ageless and Beloved Story Told a Whole New Way
Oct 1, 2008 (Los Angeles, CA) -- It was the night before Christmas, and all through the town, Alastair Macdonald searched high and he searched low. He wanted a storybook, one that was beautifully illustrated, so he could share the magical tale of baby Jesus’ birth with his children.
Disappointed and empty-handed, Macdonald returned home. His desire to spend Christmas Eve reading the ageless story of a beloved child’s birth with his kids would not be realized...that year.
But twenty-five years later, a new generation would thrill to First Christmas, the story of the birth of Christ told in rhyming verse by Zeke, Joseph’s faithful and hardworking donkey. First Christmas, written by is Alastair Macdonald, is the author’s gift to people everywhere...his way to make a long held dream for the perfect storybook come true and – along the way – quench his desire to put some meaning back into a much-cherished celebration.
“I wrote First Christmas so that the story of the birth of Jesus Christ could be shared, in a special way, among loved ones,” says Macdonald. “It is my hope that my storybook will bring back balance to the celebration of Christmas and, in the process, bring us all together to share in the wonder of this historic birth.”
Macdonald believes that many Christians and non-Christians alike have become weary of the growing commercial and secular nature of Christmas; they would like to get back to the basics, he says, and are interested in re-focusing on the spiritual aspects of the holiday season.
When the author’s own search for the perfect storybook yielded nothing, Macdonald realized that the Bible’s telling of Jesus’ birth is not very accessible. The author wanted a story that would appeal to all ages – one in which Mary and Joseph’s humanity was revealed...a story that had humor and emotion, that would respect all people and denominations...something beautifully illustrated to highlight the wondrous tale.
“There are a myriad of attractive books on Santa Claus, Christmas trees, reindeer and other Christmassey things,” says Macdonald. “But very little on the actual story of Christmas.”
“Some stories out there are meant for very young children,” says Macdonald. “Others tell only a part of the tale; some are illustrated with cartoon characters, and others with characters who appear to be from Des Moines, but who’ve suddenly grown a beard, and put on Middle Eastern garb!”
First Christmas is, literally, a work of art. A thirty-nine page, rhyming poem written in the spirit of Dr. Seuss, the book is a high quality keeper to cherish, store away, and bring out every Christmas to share.
A hardcover book with a red cloth cover, the nativity scene is at the heart of the book’s cover, an inlaid and foil stamped image. All titling is gold embossed. First Christmas is printed in five, rather than the usual four inks; the addition of gold ink brings out the extensive use of gold leaf in Adel Nassief’s twenty-one illustrations.
First Christmas will be distributed to retailers on September 15, 2008. In addition to English, a Spanish language edition is available.
First Christmas entertains, telling a timeless, wondrous story with wit, playfulness, and accuracy.
Zeke’s gentle narrative follows the story of Christ’s birth as told in the Bible. By having Joseph’s donkey tell the tale, the author is able to humanize the characters of Mary and Joseph, imbuing them with genuine emotions. They are, understandably, at times angry, fearful, happy, humorous, loving, supportive, worried, and filled with wonder. Throughout their experience, they always maintain a strong faith in God.
“As I wrote the poem, I tried to place myself in Mary’s – and particularly Joseph’s – shoes,” says Macdonald. “Joseph is a bit of a forgotten figure, but one who must have had a really good heart and extraordinary faith.”
“I wrote a book that, I hope, will distract children from focusing on gifts, toys, and Santa,” says Macdonald.
His belief in God, which came at an early age, has been an important constancy in the author’s life. “Like many Christians, I have moments of doubt,” he shares. "When I embarked upon writing the story, I really wondered about the whole Immaculate Conception premise of Christ’s birth.
“Yet, as time went on, so many things fell into place; there are numerous examples of being blessed by moments of grace as I conceived and wrote First Christmas. As a result, I simply had to face the realization that my doubts were quite groundless.”
“I once told my wife that Zeke is my alter ego to which she immediately replied, ’Well you know at times you can be a real ass!!’” reveals Macdonald. “Admittedly, there is quite a bit of me in Zeke.”
Macdonald is available to discuss First Christmas, and his twenty-five year odyssey to realize his dream to bring this story to life.
Availability: Immediate availability nationwide for radio and television.
About Alastair Macdonald
A self-confessed family man, Macdonald wrote First Christmas – his first book – for families everywhere. It is an ageless story told with a twist, the book itself an everlasting work of art. Writing First Christmas was the culmination of a twenty-five year dream that took hold of the author’s heart and would not let go. Macdonald is a financial advisor who divides his time between Bermuda and Dallas, Texas. For more information, go to www.firstchristmas.net.
About Adel Nassief
Nassief created the illustrations for First Christmas. His original paintings for the book were done in traditional Coptic style, on wood board with tempura paint and gold leaf. Nassief makes his living creating large murals and mosaics for Orthodox Coptic churches around the world. He lives with his family in Alexandria, Egypt. For more information, go to www.adelnassief.net.
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