Book & DVD Review ~ Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber

Written by David T. Warner
Music by Mack Wilberg
Read by Tom Brokaw
Illustrated by Robert T. Barrett
Non fiction/Christmas

About the book:

Christmas from Heaven is the story of the humble beginnings of what became a beacon of hope to a war-torn land, the story of Gail Halvorsen, a young pilot in the US Army Air Corps who was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, in which US forces flew much-needed supplies into a Soviet-blockaded Berlin.

As he performed his duties, Lt. Halvorsen began to notice the German children gathered by the fences of Tempelhof Air Base. Knowing that they had very little, he one day offered them some chewing gum. From that small act, an idea sprang: He would "bomb" Berlin with candy. Fashioning small parachutes, he and his crew sent them floating down as they approached the Berlin airport, wiggling the wings of their C-54 as a signal to the children that their anticipated cargo would soon arrive. 

Lt. Halvorsen became known by hundreds, if not thousands, of children in Berlin as "Uncle Wiggly Wings" or "The Candy Bomber." Word soon spread, and donations of candy and other supplies poured in from sympathetic Americans. Lt. Halvorsen's small idea became a great symbol of hope not only to German children in a bombed-out city but to all those who yearned for freedom.

My thoughts:

Christmas from Heaven is the perfect book and DVD for a family night. The book and story itself are interesting but when you add in the DVD it just adds to the tale and makes it feel complete. We read through the book first and then watched the DVD. After doing that I realized that it works best to do both at the same time.

Tom Brokaw narrates the story just as it is written in the book. Between readings is music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. There is also video clips of live footage during the time period. As a lover of history I found it to be fascinating. 

I think your little ones will be intrigued by the story of candy being dropped from a plane. Your older kids will enjoy the story behind it and the adults will appreciate all the different aspects of the venture and how it came to be.

A little added bonus is an illustration of how the candy bombs were put together. Wouldn't it be fun to put some together as a family and reenact the story by dropping candy bombs from the top of the stairs?!! This would make a great addition to your families Christmas reading traditions.

Read by: Tom Brokaw

Illustrated by: Robert T. Barrett

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