A preschool-age boy plays with his Nativity crèche figures on the cover of this quietly charming bedtime story that integrates the little boy’s world with the Christmas Eve story of the birth of the Christ Child.
The soothing text follows the pattern of saying good night to each character and to some of the natural elements as well, in the manner of that other, most famous good-night story. He bids good night to each of the characters in the Nativity story, and then the text shifts to a snowy scene of a moonlit farm with a country church in the distance. (“Goodnight to the golden glowing moon” is a tip of the hat to the story’s thematic predecessor.) The little boy reappears to put Baby Jesus to sleep in the manger, nicely tying the Nativity story to the child’s personal world. Softly shaded, realistic illustrations are appealing in a quiet, pleasant way, with engaging touches. The little boy’s stuffed lamb echoes the sheep appearing in both the Nativity scenes and in the final spread of the farm on Christmas morning, for instance. The double-page-spread format makes this a fine read-aloud for a group of little ones, but it’s also a cozy choice as a December bedtime story.
A terrific introduction for preschoolers who are just learning about the Nativity story. (Picture book/religion. 2-5)