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FATHER AND SON by Geraldine McCaughrean


A Nativity Story

by Geraldine McCaughrean, illustrated by Fabian Negrin

Age Range: 8 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-4231-0344-0
Publisher: Hyperion

Joseph is often the forgotten figure of the Nativity scene: steadfast in his presence, but not able to fully claim the traditional paternal role. In this intellectually challenging work, McCaughrean explores a sophisticated theological issue from Joseph’s point of view, with the new father watching his sleeping baby and thinking ahead as to how he can properly bring up his son. The philosophical issue that Joseph struggles with is the complex idea of Jesus as both the son of God and as God himself. On each beautifully illustrated spread, Joseph and Jesus as a young child are shown in a different activity, with corresponding text that relates Joseph’s intellectual conundrum about the futility of trying to teach someone who has created the world. His conclusion is that he can offer only his strong, helping hands, watching over the child as God watches over Joseph himself. An author’s note helps to explain McCaughrean’s theological approach, which will be best appreciated by older children and young adults. The large format, excellent design values and Negrin’s luminous paintings add to this unusual volume’s appeal. (Picture book. 8-14)