This retelling of the Nativity story by a prolific author of Christian books for children recounts the narrative of the birth of Jesus and surrounding events.
The smoothly flowing text is based on the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. The story begins as Gabriel visits Mary in a garden to tell her about the arrival of Jesus. The text follows Mary and Joseph as they travel to Bethlehem together and moves through the birth of Jesus in the stable and on to the appearance of an angel to nearby shepherds and their journey to meet the baby. The quest of the wise men is introduced in conjunction with King Herod’s fear of a newborn Jewish king and his threat to harm the baby. The wise men visit the baby in the stable, and the conclusion describes Joseph’s warning by another angel to take Mary and Jesus to safety in Egypt. This accessible retelling is more complete than most Nativity stories for children, contextualizing the joyful scene of the birth in the stable against the imminent danger to the newborn child. Appealing colored-pencil illustrations in a muted palette are an excellent match to the fairly lengthy story. Most of the characters have light skin; one of the wise men and a court musician have dark skin.
An excellent choice for church libraries and Christian families who want a contemporary retelling of the Christmas story. (Picture book/religion. 5-9)