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Jesus is My BFF!

Guidance for Parents                Mini-Art Lessons
The Guidance for Parents material below is designed to help parents who wish to enrich their child's understanding of the story, and many concepts that will help build a foundation for understanding man's relationship with God, at a level simple and basic enough for young children. We suggest you read the book to your child, or with your child a few times, then review the guidance. You can then make comments or ask questions in subsequent reading to help your child develop some knowledge and concepts. You will have the opportunity to present the ideas at an appropriate age level for your child and at a time when you feel they are ready. We hope you enjoy sharing knowledge of God with your child.

As you read the guidance you may notice that we capitalize pronouns representing 1) God and 2) Jesus. It is common to capitalize pronouns for God and it is common for followers of Jesus, or Christians, to capitalize pronouns for Jesus because followers of Jesus believe Him to be God who chose to live as a man among other men, women and children.
The Mini-art Lessons are designed to teach some simple concepts of drawing and to encourage observation, expression and imagination. These mini -art lessons build one one another to some degree. We'd like to suggest that the child work through them in order. It is advisable to read the story several times before allowing your child to pick pages to color.

We hope your child enjoys the little lessons and coloring activities. But more than anything we hope your child enjoys this story and wants to learn more about growing a relationship with God.
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Page 13;   Page14;   Page 15; Page 13;   Page14;   Page 15;
Page 16;   Page 17;   Pages 18-19; Page 16;   Page 17;
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Page 23;   Page 24;   Page 25; Page 23;   Page 24;   Page 26;
Page 26;   Page 27;   Page 28; Page 23;   Page 24;   Page 26;
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Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 1 Who is Jesus? His name in Hebrew, his family language, is Yeshua. He was a Jewish child born to a young woman named Mary about 2000 years ago. Many people call Him the son of God and believe Him to be God, who chose to live a life as a human and walk among us. Other people believe He is a great prophet [someone who God chose to speak for Him] and some call Him the friend of God. One thing is certain, Jesus was a special person who influences the beliefs and behavior of many people today. It is special to be His friend. Be prepared to tell your child in simple terms, who Jesus is.

Parents, if you would be interested in learning how people of various faiths view Jesus, you may want to read this short blog:
Who is Jesus?

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 2 Jesus loves everyone. His friendship, His love is availabe to anyone who chooses to receive it through faith. He asks God to forgive each and every one of us, who wishes to change and asks His forgiveness. And God forgives. God’s love is endless and patient. He will wait patiently until we call upon Him and invite Him into our lives to guide us and comfort us.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 3 Sometimes our guidance references the Bible. The Bible is a book that tells the history of man's relationship with God. It is filled with the words of God given to various prophets which God chose. It is comprised of the Old Testment which includes all scripture that Jews follow, and the New Testament which includes the scripture as given to Jesus to share with all who believe.

Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. The dove is a symbol of peace. In the Bible there is a story of the time when Jesus was baptized in the river. His cousin, John the Baptist performed his baptism. As Jesus came up out of the water, John saw “The Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.“ And then John the Baptist heard the voice of God saying, “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. “ Matthew 3: 16-17.

In this picture we have chosen to use a dove to represent ‘Holy Spirit.’ That is a symbol. Followers of Jesus believe the Holy Spirit is a part of God.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 4 Each and every one of us is different from others. There are many ways to be different. Some people are blind. Some cannot hear. Some are short and some are tall. Some have blue eyes, some brown, gray, green or a mixture. Jesus teaches that we should love everyone. The star is small and he cannot glow like almost all other stars. Talk with your child about how the star feels about being different from other stars? This is an opportunity to talk to your child about being kind always and recognizing people for who they are inside. Martin Luther King called this “the content of their character.” And God tells us through many scriptures that we are to love one another.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 5 Share these questions and thoughts with your child: Did you think the tiny star is sad because he cannot glow? Sometimes we cannot help feeling sad. But feeling sad does not change anything. So rather than sit around feeling sad about himself, the star chose to believe that there was a child somewhere for him. A child he could watch over and love, a child who would love him. When you believe something with all your heart, even if you cannot see, touch, taste, smell or hear it, you have ‘faith.’ The star decided to look for a child who would be able to see him in the sky, even if he did not glow. The star had faith. And it is this faith that causes him to sail the skies night after night, year after year, never giving up.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 6 In our first book "The Star Who Almost Wasn't There," the star sees a baby sleeping peacefully in a manger. A manger holds hay and food for farm animals to eat. But when Jesus was born, his Mother, Mary and earthly-Father, Joseph were traveling and had no place to spend the night. One man offered to let them stay in his barn. . .and there the tiny child was born. His Mother had no bed for Him, so she placed him in the manger. Whenever we hear talk or read of a child in a manger, we know that child is Jesus. In “The Star Who Almost Wasn’t There” we tell how the star started weeping when he saw this baby. His tears dropped on the child and woke Him. The child saw the star and was filled with love. And then the star began to glow. What a transformation!

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 7 The story of the birth of Jesus is in the Bible. There are four books in the Bible that tell about the life of Jesus. These are called the Gospels. Two of these books, the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke describe the story of the birth of Jesus. The stories tell us that a brilliant star rose over the stable in which Jesus was born and lay as an infant. This star guided wise men from the East who understood it’s importance. They traveled to Bethlehem to worship the new born child whom they understood to be the King of Jews. This star is called the Star of Bethlehem. In “The Star Who Almost Wasn’t There” the author imagined that the Star of Bethlehem had started out as a tiny star who could not glow. She imagined that he met the baby Jesus and it was the love of Jesus that transformed him into the brightest star in the sky. Imagination is fun!

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 8 Jesus brought a message of love to everyone. He taught that God loves us and the most important things we can do are:

Love God

Love One Another

That is such an important lesson. Before Jesus, people thought there were hundreds of laws and rules to follow. But Jesus made it easy for us to understand that God’s love is endless and that God wants us to try to be loving just like Him. It is easy to sometimes get mad or angry at someone. But it is important to remember that God wants us to love others and to forgive them. We often say we want to let His light and love shine through us. The star learned quickly that following Jesus includes letting His light shine through every day.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 9 Jesus loved little children. Once His disciples were trying to keep children from Jesus because they thought the children would bother Jesus. But Jesus told them: “Let the children come to me. Do not keep them away. Heaven is made of such as these children.” What do you think he meant by that? Is it their innocence? Perhaps the wonder with which children view the world? Or could it be that young children are open, easily accepting others and ready to believe?

There is a song that many children learn in Sunday School. The lyrics go like this:

Jesus loves the little children,

All the children of the world,

Red and yellow, black and white

They are precious in his sight.

Jesus loves the little children of the world.

These lyrics help us to teach children about loving one another, no matter what skin color one has or what country one may come from.

You can listen to the song

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 10 It is important for children to use their imaginations. Of course, it is also important to know what is imagined and what is not. On this page the star is saying that stars are supposed to watch over children. It is a lovely comforting thought. But, it is an imagined idea. At some point your child will recognize that stars do not think or behave as humans do. But Jesus was a man, and those who follow Him believe that he still lives today in Heaven and knows every one of us. He is always watching over us.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 11 In the Bible, we find the stories of how Jesus was born, how he lived as an adult, and how he created a ministry that flourishes today, about 2000 years later. But you will not find any story in the Bible about a star who could not glow. The creator of the story was inspired by the story of Jesus’s birth as told in the Bible. It is told that when He was born, a bright star appeared in the sky over his birthplace. And wise men from the East followed that star and knew that it meant a special child, a king, had been born. They followed the star a very long way until they reached Bethlehem, the town where Jesus was born. And there they visited the baby and honored him with gifts. Fiction is often inspired by real events.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 12 The language of the Jews of Jesus’s time was Hebrew. Shalom is a Jewish word understood to mean peace, completeness, prosperity, and welfare However, it is also used to greet one another and to bid farewell. Although He seems to be sleeping, Jesus somehow knows that star is there. He greets star and tells him to have peace and contentment in his heart.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - page 13 People who love God, often feel warm and loved by Him. He is a source of comfort when comfort is needed, in times of loss and in times of sorrow. He is a source of happiness and joy when things are well. Sometimes, when we feel in touch with God, we say "it is well with my soul." Our soul is a part of who we are that is not flesh and blood. It is a part of who we are that survives even after people die. It is that part of ourselves that enables us to feel connected with God. It is well with my soul means, I feel at peace in my relationship with God.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 14 People are often surprised by what many of us believe are miracles. They are surprised because they don’t expect miracles to happen. Some people dismiss them as nothing important. Even if they cannot explain what happened, they believe there is an explanation that we would easily understand if they could just figure it out. Instead they dismiss what happened as not significant or coincidence.

Faith is a state in which we accept that God 'IS' and His miracles are all around us. It comes from a feeling deep inside us. It is a spark. A tiny ember. And we can bring it to life by choosing to nurture it until a great flame breaks out. We nurture it by learning all we can about God and how He loves us.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 15 Many Bible stories tell of God choosing what we might think are unlikely people, to speak for him. When you understand their stories, you know that God chose them for these missions. For example, Moses was born to a Jewish woman in Egypt, who saved his life when he was an infant by putting him in a basket in the river, because there was an order to kill all male children born to Jews because Pharaoh feared the numbers of the Jewis slaves would outgrow the Egyptians. His Mother gave him up to give him life. He was found by the daughter of the Pharaoh or king of Egypt and raised as royalty in the Pharaoh’s household. For most of his life, Moses did not know he was Jewish. When he learned he was Jewish there came a time when he killed an Egyptian who he felt was treating Jewish slaves poorly. In a fit of anger he was guilty of murder. Yet he became a Prophet and great leader of the Jews. He was chosen by God to lead the Jews out of slavery in Egypt to the land that God had promised them. God chooses and raises up those whom He chooses.

And Mary, Jesus’s Mother was chosen to give birth to Jesus. She was a humble girl from very plain background who loved God. And she was engaged to Joseph who was chosen to be Jesus’s earthly Father. Joseph was also humble and a lover of God. God chose them because they were faithful servants of God although they were plain and simple people.

So in this story, Jesus chose the star to be his friend because like Moses, Mary and Joseph, he is humble and has a pure heart.

God loves every one of us. And He has a plan for each of us.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 16 Faith is the ability to believe in something we cannot prove with our senses. We do not see God, yet God asks us to have faith in Him, to believe in Him. Many people struggle with this. They have doubts. Jesus talked with his disciples about having faith many times. In our story, Jesus is questioning star about his faith. Star knows that Jesus gave him a gift of great light, when he could not glow, but still he is surprised that he can hear Jesus in his head and heart. Everyone has a tiny spark of faith inside. We have to choose to blow gently on that spark and cause it to burst into flames. We have to nurture our faith to keep and expand our feeling of being connected with God. That is one reason why many people attend a church. You don't have to attend a church to grow this feeling, but you do have to find ways to learn about God: How much He loves you, how you can have a relationship with Him, and what you must do to build that relationship.

Prayer and meditation are examples of things you can do to open your heart and soul to knowing God.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 17 God forgives us when we realize we have been wrong and we want to do better. The word sincere means that you share something you truly feel and that you are truthful. God wants us all to be sincere when we ask for forgiveness. We are humble when we ask for forgiveness. The word humble also means to be respectful.

Guidance for Parents and Guardians - Pages 18-19 People who have belief and faith in God often speak to him in prayer and these prayers may be silent. You can speak with Him by forming the words in your mind, even if you do not speak them out loud. And we seek to listen for God's response which, for many, is found in a peaceful feeling in the heart, confidence that He has heard, a comforting feeling. Depending on what the person offering the prayer was seeking, he or she may feel a burden lifted, or that they know the right decision for them regarding some issueOr it may signal just hanging out with God as one might find peace in sitting quietly with a good friend. In this story, Star is experiencing this silent but very robust communication with Jesus, who then explains that he does this with God, the Father in Heaven.

If you would like to teach your child about speaking to God in prayer, consider a short simple prayer like this:

Dear God, thank you for caring for me and my family, for food on our table and friends to share with. Please watch over my family and friends and keep us safe. Help us to know how to give glory to you in everything we do. Amen.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 20 Jesus grew to be a great teacher. He was a Rabbi, or one who teaches Jewish Law and more importantly in his case, one who teaches us about God and how to have a relationship with God. The star wants to know who is this God, that teaches Jesus. All major religions know Jesus and recognize him as a Prophet. A prophet is a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God. Followers of Islam call Jesus a friend of God and Jews view him as a prophet or great rabbi. Christians are followers of Jesus and believe Him to be even more. Christians believe that God, who can do anything, became man to live among other men as Jesus. He was a human being and also God.

Christians believe God to manifest in three ways: The Heavenly Father [to whom Jesus refers], Jesus who is also called the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All three manifestations exist at the same time in one God. When Jesus talks about His Father, he is not talking about Joseph who was His Mother’s husband, He is talking about God in Heaven. This is possibly the most difficult concept to grasp and it is dependent upon belief that God can do anything. Christians call this concept of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as one, the holy trinity.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 21 God loves the world! He loves people! Every one of us. But he loves everthing. He loves the animals, the trees and plants, birds, wind, stars, earth, stone. . .everything that we think of as nature, even some things we might not like very much, like some insects! The Bible tells us that God is omnipresent. Omnipresence means all-present. This means that God is capable of being everywhere at the same time. It means his divine presence encompasses the whole of the universe.

Another way to put it is: God is in everything, a part of everything, and everything is a part of God.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 22 People from different cultures call God by different names. Some religions claim there is just one God, no matter what we call Him. These are monotheistic religions. There are some religions that teach about many Gods. These are called polytheistic religions.

Judaism, Islam and Christianity all teach that there is but one God. Jews, the oldest of these religions calls Him Yahweh, Christians, the next oldest religion calls Him, God, and followers of Islam, the youngest of these religions call Him Allah.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 23 Christians believe Jesus was born to serve a great mission. We believe God himself chose to become a man and live on earth among the people he loves and that in this time on earth he was to show people how to love God, how to serve Him, and to demonstrate a message of hope of a life after death. This gift of life after death is offered freely to anyone who believes. We say, those who believe have received His gift. You may recieve it as well.

But by living as a human, the author imagines that Jesus did not know what this mission was to be when he was a child. In consideration of the life of Jesus as a child, I the author imagines that from a very early age Jesus was in communication with God the Father and while he may have learned that he was born for a purpose, he did not as a child know what that purpose was. Hahn, the creator of the story, imagines that God told Jesus he would have to prepare Himself well for His mission and guided Him in this way.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 24 The mission of Jesus is indeed to raise people up into the love and care of God the Father. According to the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus stated:

". . .I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." - John 14:6.

This suggests that to know Jesus, is to know God. Christians believe that Jesus is God and he took the form of man to "walk in our shoes' but also to become more relatable to man. Christians believe we must believe in Jesus in order to be welcomed into Heaven by God someday. Once you have faith in Jesus, you want to follow in His ways. You may struggle. You may slip and fall. But if you ask forgiveness, you will be forgiven, and you will rise to try to follow in His ways, again.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 25 Very little is known of Jesus childhood. We know of his birth, ministry, death and resurrection from the Gospels. We know his family fled from Bethlehem when he was under 2 years old because Herod, the King of Judea at the time, ordered the killing of all male children under the age of 2 in the region. He did this because he learned of the birth of Jesus and that this birth was special, that Jesus was a King. Herod was afraid he was a king that would take away Herod’s power. Herod, and most of the country did not realize that Jesus was to be a King of Heaven.

We also know that Jesus’s family returned to the area around Jerusalem after the death of Herod. The Bible tells us that when Jesus was 11 or 12 he amazed the Temple leaders, the Rabbi’s, with his knowledge and understanding of Jewish Law and God. They could find no questions he could not answer. They could not trip him up. As a 12 year-old boy he could not only hold his own in discussion with Rabbis, he stood out among them as the most knowledgeable.

But we don’t really know anything between those times. . .or again from age 12 until He started His ministry at about age 30. We can only imagine.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 26 Emphasis on education is part of Judaism. The following text is extracted and slightly modified for ease of reading, from the Wikipedia article: Jewish Education

Jewish education is the transmission of the tenets, principles and religious laws of Judaism. Known as "People of the Book", Jews value education. The emphasis and value of education is strongly embedded in Jewish culture. Judaism places a heavy emphasis on Torah study.

The tradition of Jewish education goes back to biblical times. One of the basic duties of Jewish parents is to provide for the instruction of their children. The obligation to teach one's children is set forth in the first paragraph of the Shema Yisrael prayer: “Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day. Impress them upon your children. Recite them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead; inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and your gates.” (Deut 6:6-9).[3]"

The Bible book of Deutoronomy contains some of the laws that Moses shared from God. So we understand the direction to “Take to heart these instructions. . .” to be God’s will. Note that the passage says “. . .inscribe them on the doorposts of our house and your gates.” Today Jews hang a mezuzah on their door frames. The text below comes from the Wikipedia article: Mezuzah

A mezuzah is a piece of parchment (often contained in a decorative case) inscribed with specified Hebrew verses from the Torah(Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and  11:13-21). These verses compose the Jewish prayer "Shema Yisrael", beginning with the phrase: "Hear, O Israel, the LORD (is) our God, the LORD is One". In mainstream, i.e. Rabbinic Judaism, a mezuzah is affixed to the doorframe of Jewish homes to fulfill the mitzvah(Biblical commandment) to inscribe the words of the Shema "on the doorposts of your house" (Deuteronomy 6:9). Some interpret Jewish law to require a mezuzah on every doorway in the home apart from bathrooms and closets too small to qualify as rooms.  The parchment is prepared by a qualified scribe (a "sofer stam") who has undergone many years of meticulous training, and the verses are written in black indelible ink with a special quill pen. The parchment is then rolled up and placed inside the case.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 27 There are no images of Jesus, no pictures or descriptions of His physical appearance in the Bible. So any attempt to make drawings or paintings of Jesus is speculative. And in this story, I am trying to depict a young Jesus, as a baby and toddler, with dreams of growing bigger. We don't know if His hair would have been curly or straight, how dark it may have been, or how He may have worn it. We do know that Jewish law states that the men shall not shave the sides. We can see this law today in Hassidic and Yemenite Jews who leave the sides of the hair over the ears long forming 'earlocks.' We also know that He likely conformed to the Jewish customs of his time, wearing loose-fitting garments. We consult history to learn as much as we can about how He would have dressed and lived but actual images of Jesus are all "imaginings." Perhaps that is God's intention. All humans can imagine Him like themselves and so relate to Him in a personal way. The Bible tells us that He knows each of us in a very personal way. Jews throughout history have used the expression that indicates that not a single hair on your head will fall without God's knowledge. It is an expression that indicates how great is the love God has for each of us, that He knows the number of hairs on your head and knows when each falls.

Guidance for Parent’s and Guardians - Page 28 The little star is inspired by the fact that Jesus has a mission for which He must prepare. And the star wants to be involved in any way he can contribute. Christains are followers of Jesus. This means that they work to become more like him. They try to become the best version of themselves that they can be although we all fail to live up to that! Christians believe that if they recognize where they fail, and ask for forgiveness, they will receive forgiveness from God. And so, their journey continues. The little star is expressing the desire to serve that many Christians have when he asks: "Is there something I can do for you now as you prepare to become the greatest gift some day?” Christians want to know their purpose or mission in life. And often understanding this leads to accepting where each of us is in life.

Guidance for Parents and Guardians - Page 29 Followers of Jesus tell others:

The Directors of StarGift Project Inc. share stories and messages about God in creative materials for children, like this story-coloring-art lesson book.

Please visit our FB page and LIKE it!
StarGift Project

Check out our page for children hosted by the Star. The Star Who Almost Wasn't There

And visit our website at StarGiftProject.org to learn more. . .and to make donations to help us get this book and other materials like this, into the hands of children who otherwise may not be taught about God!

Guidance for Parents and Guardians - Page 30 In our story, the Star has begun to learn how to communicate with Jesus, heart to heart! It takes time and practice in prayer or meditation, or even just conversation with Him for most of us to begin to feel that we are truly being undertood and hearing responses; that we are communicating with God. But the joy that comes with this feeling is worth waiting for. It is pure joy and peace of heart.

Guidance for Parents and Guardians - Page 31 Remind your child that the Star began with a mission to watch over the child Jesus, and now he is returning to that task, serving the Lord.

Guidance for Parents and Guardians - Page 32 Jesus is there with a gift for each and every one of us. It is a gift of power over death and a life beyond life on earth. Anyone may have this gift. All you need to do is receive it. Believe in Him. Have faith. This gift is available to your child as well as yourself.

Guidance for Parents and Guardians - Page 33 We have come full circle. Jesus is my best friend forever. And he wants to be your best friend too. Choose to be His friend!

There is a song called "What a Friend We Have In Jesus." It's goes like this:

Continue the lyrics here

Written by Henry Cosby • Copyright © BMG Rights Management US, LLC

Mini-Art Lesson - Page1 Look at the picture of the Star on the opposite page. This is called a line drawing. Notice that some lines are thicker and some are thinner. Some are straight and some are more curvy. Line drawings are more interesting if the lines are not all the same width. You can use the line thickness to make some parts look stronger. . .or use thick and thin to make some lines look as if they are in motion. We also provided some gray lines to help you create a background that fits the Star. Notice the wavy lines. Sometimes you can see clouds in the dark sky. Some times you can see different colors even though the sky is dark. We also included some circles. You can think of these as planets. . .or other stars!

Imagination is a fun thing. You can imagine how the sky would look if you could paint it yourself. What colors would you use? Purple? Red? Orange? Or many colors like, blue, gray and dark blue.

Art Lesson - Page 2 Once again, we varied the width of lines in this picture. But what is missing? You’re right! There are no gray lines that can be used for coloring a background. This time, you can create a background all by yourself. It can be a sky again. . ..but it does not have to be like the sky we suggested in the first coloring page. And it doesn’t have to be a sky. Use your imagination. Perhaps the star is in your bedroom!

That is the fun of imagination! You can pretend anything you want. If you were going to put the Star in a room, what would you draw in that room to let other people know where he is? Or what would you draw in a picture so that we think the Star is outside on a nice spring day?

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 3 Notice that there are clouds in the background in this picture. So we know the dove is in the sky. Artists often use symbols in their drawings and paintings to help us understand what they are trying to say. Do you know what those gray lines are? They represent sun shining through the clouds. But they also are a symbol of God who is in heaven. Artists use their imagination to help us to think about things that may be difficult to understand. Perhaps you want your coloring to make those lines look like rays of sun! Or perhaps you want to use your imagination again. What would you do to make those lines be a symbol of God? Do you think of God in color? One color? Many colors? Or think of it this way: We know God is the source of love. . . that He loves each and every one of us. What colors make you think of love?

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 4 What do you notice about this picture that is different from the other line drawings so far? That’s right! The lines are pretty much the same thickness. They don’t have to be, but we chose to make them the same. But we did something else to make this picture more interesting. With many stars, all the same shape, we have created a design! Look at the spaces between the stars. Because the stars are made of straight lines, the spaces are too. But we made the stars different sizes, and we turned them in slightly different directions. That makes it more interesting.

The little star who could not glow, is in the center of the page. How can you color this star, and the stars around him, so that it looks like he is not glowing? How can you make the other stars look like they are glowing? We also used gray lines again, but not for the background. Do you see how the gray lines go through the stars? If you color each star with one color they will look flat. But if you color lighter on one side of the gray lines. . .and darker on the other, your stars will look like they are three dimensional. Would you like to learn how to make stars out of paper that are 3 dimensional? Instructions for how to do this are on pages 35-36.

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 5 Here is the star sailing the sky and searching for a child to love. But there is something unusual about his eyes. Is something missing? What? The iris of the eye is the part that has color. Look at yourself in the mirror. What color is the iris of your eyes? In this picture, the star has no iris in both eyes. Can you add the iris? What color will you make it?

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 6 Imagination is a wonderful thing. We do not know exactly what the barn looked like or if when Jesus did finally get to stay in a house, what it looked like. We think a house may have been built of stone. So we have imagined where Jesus was when the star visited him in this story and we have used gray lines to draw that. Gray lines are easy to cover with crayons, so you can imagine something different if you’d like. Perhaps you will imagine a house built of wood.

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 7 In this drawing, we have made the star look formal, or dressed up. He is shining brightly because that is his mission, or his way of serving Jesus. Does the star look happy? Does he look peaceful? What do you notice about his face that makes you think he is peaceful? Notice the gray lines around the star. They show how brightly he is shining. How can you color the star and show how brightly he shines in the night? Notice too that that when the star shines, he appears to take the shape of a cross. The cross is an important part of the story of Jesus. You will learn about that some day, in another story book.

Mini-Art Lesson - Page8 In this drawing we want to show that Jesus and star are friends. We want to show how much they love one another. So we used a symbol to represent love. What is that symbol? Notice the line that goes across the page near the feet of Jesus and star. That line helps us to see that they are standing on ground. If it were not there, we might think that Jesus was floating in space with the star! Ground lines don’t have to be straight. They can run at an angle. They can rise and fall as the ground outside might do. They can look like a row of grass, or stones, or anything we might stand on.

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 9 In this drawing we want to show how much Jesus loved children. We wanted to show how much the children loved him. So we have created a group picture! Notice how all of the children are looking at Jesus. It makes them look as if they are listening to Him. And He is showing love and attention to even the littlest child. Color Jesus and the children happy colors! What do you think are happy colors?

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 10 The star is confused to see that Jesus’s lips move when he, the star, thinks the child is sleeping. We wanted to make the star look confused or as if he is wondering. We closed one eye as a person might do if they are thinking about something and we put his finger to his cheek for the same reason. Finally we turned his other hand palm up, as if he is asking ‘Why?’ Look in the mirror and try to look confused! What do you do? The way we change our faces is called facial expression. Of course stars are not really people but it is fun to pretend sometimes that they are much like people. You see this in cartoons where animals and even objects seem to be like humans.

We also use our bodies to express what we are feeling. In the mirror try looking happy. Now do something that you think is happy feeling. Look up as if looking at the blue sky! Jump up to show you are excited! Do you see how you can use your facial expressions and your body to show what you are feeling? If you study your facial expressions, you will be able to create facial expressions in drawings that show feeling too. In this drawing, is the star floating in the air? Or is he on the ground? How do you know? If you would like to make him look as if he is on the ground, what can you add to the drawing? Do you remember what ground lines are? If not, take a look at page 8 Art Lesson!

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 11 We made baby Jesus look like he is sleeping in this picture. How do you know the baby is sleeping? The star looks smaller in this picture than in other pictures. We wanted him to look smaller. So we made him a size that you could compare to the size of the baby, and the size of the window. But in some of the other pictures, there is nothing to compare the star to. So we filled the page with him, which makes him seem larger. That is called a ‘close-up’ picture.

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 12 Do you think the star looks happy? Do you think he looks dizzy? His smile is a ‘warm’ smile that shows happiness. But he heard Jesus speak not with his ears. . .but inside his head. . .and inside his heart. So he was dizzy with surprise. What symbols did we use to make the star look dizzy or confused?

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 13 The star still looks very happy. He says he feels warm and cozy. Some colors are called warm colors and other colors are called cool colors. Look at your box of crayons. Which colors make you think of warm things? Which make you think of cool things? Do you need some help? Fire is warm and it is red and orange and yellow. The sun is warm and it is yellow-white and golden. Deep water is cool and it is blue and purple. Snow is cold. It is white but shadows in snow look lavender or light purple. Some greens are cool because they are similar to blue. Some greens are warm because they are similar to yellow. How can you color star so that he looks warm and cozy?

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 14 In this picture we wanted the star to look surprised. Look at how wide open his eyes are. Look at how his eyebrows are raised high above his eyes. His mouth is open, as if he is saying ‘Oh!’ This is another example of using facial expression to show feelings. We did not draw the whole star. But we drew enough that you know this is the star. And his hands are up in front of him also expressing surprise. This is another example of using body position to show feelings.

Comepare the facial expressions and body languages on pages 12, 13 and 14 where the star is shows as dizzy and confused, then happy, warm and cozy and finally surprised. It's fun to figure out how people express emotions and how to make drawings that show those expressions.

We left some work for you to do to finish this drawing. Look carefully at the eyes. What is missing? Can you finish the eyes! What can you do to make them look even more surprised?


Mini-Art Lesson - Page 15 The heart is a symbol of __________. We wanted to make a ’pattern’ in the heart in this drawing. A pattern is made by picking some elements and repeating them. Of course if we just repeated one element, the pattern would not be interesting. So we select multiple elements and repeat them. We started with a line that waves up and down. Then we repeated that line. We used the same line the third time, but we turned it upside down so that it waved just the opposite of the first two lines. Then we changed the element. We created a straight line that goes up and down, like steps. We did this three times. Then we went back to wavy lines and repeated the same pattern of three lines that we started with. We created this pattern in grey, so that you can color it with the pattern, or ignore the pattern and color right over it.

You can practice making patterns anytime. Just use any sheet of paper that you color on and choose about 3 to 5 elements to repeat. . .and alternate them. Have fun doing this!

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 16 We think of a star as having 5 points and 5 inverted points joined by 10 straight lines. This is a symbol that we call a star. In this picture we imagined the star as a three dimensional form, meaning it has thickness as well as height and width. [Parents if your child doesn't understand 3-d you can use a circle on flat paper, and a ball to show the difference.] We imagined that the star is thickest right in the middle. . .and the thickness tapers down as you get closer to the points. We turned our star sideways so you could see this view of him. It looks like he has a tummy and a bottom right in the middle. Sometimes you will see a Christmas ornament of a star that looks a little like this, or perhaps a star for the top of a Christmas tree. Three dimensional forms look a bit different depending on whether you are viewing them from the front, side, top or bottom. And that is an important lesson in art. How to make something look three dimensional, when it is not. Go back to page 4 and review the mini art lesson. You can use shading to make things look like they are three dimensional!

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 17 In this drawing we tried to make the star look sincere. We placed his hands over his heart as if he is telling us his words come from the heart. He is slightly bent forward showing that he is humble before Jesus. We tried to make his facial expression look humble and sincere too. What is there about his face that makes you think he is telling the truth when he asks for forgiveness from Jesus? Perhaps he has just a little bit of a frown because he recognizes that he has been wrong. Why are his eyes closed? Could it be that he has lowered them to show Jesus that he submits to what Jesus has said?

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 20 The star is confused when Jesus talks about His Father. Jesus lives with his Mother and Joseph but when Jesus talks about His Father in Heaven, He is talking about God. The star does not understand this. Does the star look confused? What is there about his facial expression that make you think he is confused? What is there about his body language that makes you think he is confused? Can you make a face that looks confused? Practice in a mirror!

Mini-Art Lesson - Page21 This drawing is called a landscape. A landscape includes features of an area of countryside or land. God loves the world. He loves the land, the mountains, the lakes and streams, trees, clouds rainbows, and so much more. He also loves the birds, animals and fish. . .all living things. You can draw some animals you think might belong in this landscape. Or you can cut pictures of animals and paste them into the landscape. When you cut out pictures or colors or textures from magazines, or bags, or use pieces of fabric and glue them down to create a picture, it is called a collage!

Think about how big or small the animals should be. The landscape on page 21 shows a great deal of land. Animals close to us. . .near the bottom of the page will be bigger than animals far off in the distance or higher on the page. You can also draw or paste trees, bushes and flowers or grasses. Use your imagination again to add some detail to the landscape.

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 22 Letters of the alphabet can be drawn in different ways. The style of an alphabet is called the font. Sometimes words are used in designs. The letters will vary by size, color, and often different fonts. You can find colors that will cover the grey letters if you wish to hide the grey. You may color in the main words “I AM” with any colors. The may be bright colors or light colors. You may also color the background any way you wish.

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 23 We have created a design of star shapes to be the background for this text. Since the letters are black, you can color the stars and still read the text. The text is super-imposed on the stars, as if the text is floating in front of the stars. This is one way to use design to enhance many things. Of course, the best way to make sure the text shows through clearly is to choose ‘light’ colors or bright colors and to color lightly. Coloring lightly means you hold the crayon or pencil loosly in your hand and do not press down hard. You lightly rub or brush the color back and forth to fill in space.

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 24 We created a different type of design to enhance this text. We created two banners of stars, one above and one below the text. With this type of design, you don’t have to color behind the stars at all. You color the banners anyway you want! If you choose, you can color around the text but we recommend that you color lightly or choose a light color for this part.

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 26 Does Jesus look older in this drawing that He does in other drawings? What is the difference? See the next page for a drawing of Jesus as a toddler to compare. Notice that we put something like a bubble around the figure. This is a way to suggest that the picture is in the mind of Jesus, that He is thinking about studying as he get’s older.

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 27 The word propotions means how the size of different parts relate to one another and to the whole. For example, in a landscape, a tree is likely to be taller than a horse. As people, our proportions change as we grow older. Young children's heads are larger compared to their shoulders and chest than the head of a larger person. Whenever we want to draw something we have to look at it carefully and try to 'see' how the sizes of parts compare.

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 29 Notice that this picture is encircled by a bubble shape. What does this suggest? [If you don't remember look back at the art lesson for page 26.] What is the star doing? Does he look like he is enjoying this? Is he happy? How do you know? [Hint: Notice Stars facial expression and body language.]

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 30 You have seen many drawings of the star! You have seen him standing straight in front of you. He is the ‘shape’ we call a star. But the star is a 3 dimensional character. That means he is not flat. You saw a drawing of him facing sideways on page 16. In this drawing we see him from the back. We cannot see his face. We can see a little bit of a hand so we think he is making motions with his hand. In each drawing the shape changes. In this drawing the ‘shape’ is not a star.

Take an example of a simple box. If you hold it in front of you at eye level, you will see the shape of a square or rectangle.

But if you turn the box so that a corner is in front of you, you will see something that looks like this;

Hold up many different objects and turn them this way and that. Each time let your eyes trace around the outer edge. You will find that the shape changes as you hold the object differently. This is important when you try to draw something. First, study the shape.

Mini-Art Lesson - Page 32 You’ve seen this drawing before! Remember. It was early in the story. We are using it again to remind you of friendship with Jesus and also by ‘repeating’ elements as we ‘design’ this book. Yes, books are designed. They are designed to tell a story and to make it interesting and fun. You learned about repeating elements when you learned about patterns on page 15.