Babies and toddlers can enjoy a simple introduction to the Christmas story with this cleverly constructed board book, which was first published in Great Britain.
Unlike most Nativity stories for younger children, the cover of this book shows the three Magi holding their gifts ready for presentation. Each of the following five double-page spreads has two or three brief lines of text on the upper left-hand page that end with a question. The right-hand page is a gatefold flap that can be lifted to reveal the answer to the question posed in the text. For example, the first spread shows Joseph and Mary riding on their donkey. “Is it far?” When the flap is lifted, a town is revealed in the distance, with the words “Nearly at Bethlehem.” Subsequent flaps are lifted to reveal the inside of the stable, the angels announcing the birth to the shepherds, the star followed by the Magi and the entire cast of characters surrounding the baby Jesus in the manger. Unfortunately, the final question regarding the appearance of the Wise Men is awkward to read, if grammatically correct: “For whom are the gifts they bring?” However, cheery illustrations in jewel-bright hues will appeal to young children, and the well-constructed book has sturdy cardboard pages with rounded corners that should stand up to enthusiastic use from toddlers.
This introduction should please little ones and their parents alike. (Picture book. 1-4)