Grumpy Old Ox
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This children's Christmas book by bestselling author Anthony DeStefano tells the story of a mean-spirited, prideful old ox who has lost his sight — both physically and spiritually — but who nevertheless experiences the transformative power of God's grace after he is present at the birth of Jesus Christ in a humble stable in Bethlehem. Illustrated by New York Times best-selling artist Richard Cowdrey, this new holiday book teaches children the true meaning of Christmas while explaining the central message of Christianity: that faith in Jesus leads us to resurrection and new life. Moreover, it shows the profound connection between spiritual pride and blindness. Like the main character in Dickens's A Christmas Carol, this Scrooge of an ox is a slave to his own anger and crippled by his own coldness. He seems destined to live out his days frustrated, unhappy and alone—until he makes a life-altering decision of faith that brings him the miraculous gift of healing and joy. This uplifting, inspiring book will delight all Christians, though Catholics especially will appreciate its powerful Eucharistic message. Connecting the manger in the stable, from which the ox eats his food, to birth of the Son of God, the story shows that Jesus is the Bread of Life; that he came into the world to feed the hungry, to restore sight to the blind, and to set free those who are captive to sin. All of this is contained in a 36-page picture book that, with its adorable rhymes and beautiful illustrations, is sure to entertain and enthrall children for years to come.