HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY JESUS by

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY JESUS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Introduced as ""one of the stories from the Bible, a book of stories thousands of years old,"" this begins simply, ""a young girl named Mary and a carpenter named Joseph discovered that they loved each other."" That's not how we heard it--and if Mee wants to project Jesus as simply ""a (sic) child of God"" (with Mary and Joseph reflecting, after the angel's visits, that ""all children are children of God""), then he will have to explain the flocking of visitors to the stable. (Similarly, Munowitz might explain the crowns on the three guests described only as ""wise men."") In line with the demythologizing approach, Munowitz' folk-type, lump-footed figures look like they were formed with cookie cutters--except for Mary's seemingly transparent skirt. The story ends cozily with everyone wishing baby Jesus a happy birthday; no doubt it will be welcome by certain ""liberal"" Protestant parents, but in this form the story never would have lasted for thousands of years.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Harper & Row