A simple retelling of the Nativity story with tactile elements embedded on each spread.
In the five double-page scenes, Mary and Joseph travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, angels visit the shepherds, and the Magi come from afar. The cartoons, which look to be acrylic paintings in rich jewel tones, are cheery, and the prose is straightforward and just enough for the youngest audience. Each page holds one touch-and-feel feature, dubbed a “finger-trail,” which is created by cutting out the top portion of the page to make an indentation and reveal a layer of patterned paper underneath. Through them, readers are encouraged to “feel” the flight path of angels and the foot trails of shepherds and Magi. However, the gimmick is unevenly presented. On the first page, the finger-trail feature is incomplete, since not all of the donkey’s hoof prints marking Mary and Joseph’s journey are cut away, and the finger-trail on the final double-page spread, which is meant to lead little fingers to the gifts of the three Magi, merely traces the outlines of their backs.
A pleasant-enough offering that would have been improved by elimination of the gimmick. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)