Throwback Thursday – The Very Special Present

I am slowly running out of books from my childhood but have been on the phone to my mum to send me some more that she has on her shelf. I love looking back at books that I have enjoyed as a child and I am finding so many of you also have enjoyed them as children too and have shared your fond memories.

The Very Special Present

By Betty Smith

Illustrated by Norm Hamdorf


Today’s book I remember having such an impact on me, one of the stories in the bible that talk so deeply of the gift of sacrifice and what beautiful blessings come from that. This book is based on the book in the Bible called Samuel chapters 1-2, which my mum has so lovingly written the reference to in the book; I can tell it was her from by the handwriting.

For those that are not familiar with it, it is about Hannah who is crying  and Eli hears her. Hannah shares with Eli that she hasn’t been able to have children, Eli tells her a promise from God that she will have a son and Hannah promises that she will do all that she can do to see that he grows up to love and serve the Lord. Hannah has a son Samuel, and brings him to Eli at the age of three to learn and grow in the Lord. It was a huge sacrifice and a faithful act from Hannah, Samuel was always on her mind and he grew strong in faith and hearing from Jesus.


An interesting feature of this book is that the pages alternates between black & white and colour. My only logical thinking is that it was a money saving idea. It was printed in October 1978, perhaps the publishing costs weren’t as cost effective then. If anyone actually knows why I would be interested.

The illustrations are quite detailed, the faces looking very real and great care has been taken to make the garments and other objects look intricate and complete. I find the backgrounds interesting, they look like a few brush strokes to add some colour to the page. The end of the brush lines can be seen and it looks very hurried, however it still looks effective and right for the book.


This book was gifted to me at the end of the Sunday School year which was always an exciting time, especially for a bibliophile; and I love that most often the bookplate is crooked.  Our books were always so beautifully written in by our Sunday School teacher who just recently passed away, I had known her for almost all of my life and she gave so much of her time and talents to the same church. She is missed, but it is nice to have so many books that are from her.


I like to write in books I give to children, I like that apart from the gift of imagination that they are getting from reading that they also might look back one day like I am and think about the memories they created with that person.


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