The Christmas Story in Black Spirituals. Five black spirituals with Christmas themes are illuminated by brilliantly colored paintings in a primitive style. The songs are arranged for choral singing, piano, and guitar by John Andrew Ross, music director of the National Center of Afro-American Artists and the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts. Although editor Langstaff provides a brief note for choir directors, instrumentalists, and parents, these arrangements are for the experienced musician. The spirituals included are ""Mary Had a Baby,"" ""My Lord What a Morning,"" ""Go Tell It on the Mountain,"" ""Sister Mary Had But One Child,"" and ""Behold That Star."" Consisting mostly of adoration poses, the full page illustrations stand alone, relying on only a few Bible verses and the spirituals' words to tell the story. All the traditional nativity characters are shown as black with the exception of two of the Magi, one of whom is White and the other Asian. The glowing magentas, yellows, and blues of the illustrations will entice many readers to tell the story in their own words.