Christmas, Guest Blog

FIVE FUN FACTS about RAVEN’S GIFT with Claire Annette Noland

Today I’m pleased to have children’s author Claire Annette Noland here to share five fun facts about her newest book, RAVEN’S GIFT: A FEATHERED FLIGHT OF FAITH, published by Bless This Press, an imprint of Little Press Publishing.

Here’s the official blurb from the publisher’s website:

Raven is bored. Nothing ever happens in the fields around Bethlehem until one night, a dazzling star appears. Angels gather and sing “Baby Jesus is born!” Now Raven has a mission. He will fly and take the message to the other birds who are thrilled to take gifts to baby Jesus. But Raven wonders, what gift can he bring?

Based on an old legend, birds of the Bible celebrate the birth of the Savior in this tale of determination, perseverance, and faith.

I was delighted to get a sneak peek at the digital ARC for this book which released just five days ago. Written by Claire Annette Noland with colorful illustrations by Desirée Cordón, RAVEN’S GIFT is an engaging addition to the Christmas picture book cannon. The story flows beautifully from spread to spread and children will empathize with Raven’s growing concern about what HIS gift will be. Without spoiling the ending, let me just say that Raven’s gift is perfect – and one that young and old should be remembering to give. Well done! I think this book would make a wonderful addition to a your home, church, school, or town library. And now enjoy Claire’s five fun facts.

Five Fun Facts about 

RAVEN’S GIFT: A Feathered Flight of Faith

by Claire Annette Noland

Fun Fact #1: Raven’s Gift: A Feathered Flight of Faith is a retold legend about birds taking gifts to baby Jesus in the manger. I first came across the legend in a collection of Christmas stories, poems, and songs called Take Joy collected and illustrated by Tasha Tudor, one of my favorite author-illustrators. I loved the tale of a raven who hears the angels announce the Savior’s birth and sets off to tell the other birds.

Fun Fact #2: I enjoyed researching birds in the Bible as I chose which birds would be characters in my story. Originally, I included ten birds but the story was too long so I had to take out some. The backmatter includes the biblical references for each bird.

Fun Fact #3: I wrote Raven’s Gift ten years ago! I received many rejections and at one point thought about self publishing. Finally, it was picked up by a publisher who held it for four years and then went out of business. Sigh. In the meantime, I went on to write magazine stories, easy readers for the educational market, and work-for-hire for a large regional children’s hospital system. My first trade book, Evie’s Field Day: More Than One Way to Win was published by Cardinal Rule Press in 2020. Michele McAvoy, One of my fellow CRP authors, began her own publishing company called Little Press Publishing. I saw that she had plans for an imprint called Bless This Press and am thrilled that she chose to publish Raven’s Gift as the first book in this imprint.

Fun Fact #4: I originally wrote the main character as an old, tired, cranky raven but revised when Michele suggested that children would relate more to a young raven. Now the story features Raven who is bored because nothing ever happens in his neighborhood. 

Fun Fact #5: I love the book’s message that the greatest gift of all is sharing the good news!

Author bio: Claire Annette Noland is an author of easy readers, board books, and picture books for young children. Her career has centered around children and books as a children’s librarian, reading specialist, author, and mom. Her life’s goal is to encourage kids to be excited about reading and learning.

Claire lives with her husband and large poodle-mix, Mr. Ernie, in a book-filled home in central California. She finds inspiration for the stories she writes from the children in her life. When not writing, Claire can be found stocking her little free library, playing bocce ball on the beach. and taking field trips using kid-lit as her travel guide.

Learn more about Claire on her website:  

[Note: Thank you to the Claire for the opportunity to preview the digital ARC which I was under no obligation to review. The views and opinions expressed on this blog about books and other things are purely my own.]

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