“THE CHRISTMAS TRAIN: A True Story,” by Thomas S. Monson, illustrated by Dan Burr, Shadow Mountain, $18.99 (nf)
As a boy of about 10 years old, President Thomas S. Monson had a Christmas experience with a toy train that still has a meaningful message for children of all ages that has been recently published in the picture book "The Christmas Train."
At the time, money was tight, and young Tommy, who would later become the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wanted an electric train, which he excitedly received for Christmas.
President Monson’s mother brought out a less expensive train set for a boy in the neighborhood, and young Tommy begged and pleaded for the oil tanker car in that set.
When they went to deliver the train set, sans the old tanker car, the boy was thrilled, but it was Tommy’s remorse and decision that helped illustrate the age-old lesson of how giving is better than receiving.
Dan Burr’s illustrations artfully yet realistically show the scenes and emotions of young boys at Christmastime and the joy of giving. Burr also illustrated Deseret Book’s edition of “The Mansion” that was published last year.
An audio CD of President Monson narrating the story is also available and sold separately.
An interactive iPad Christmas Train app is also available on iTunes for $2.99 that includes some animations and a narration by President Monson.