The Nativity story is retold in familiar, everyday language with a petite, illustrated format in this somewhat unbalanced Christmas offering imported from Great Britain.
The story begins and ends with announcements from angels, starting with the Annunciation of the impending birth to Mary and ending with a warning to take the newborn Christ child to safety in Egypt. The longish text interweaves the story of Christ’s birth as told in the four Gospels, a narrative decision that is not clearly spelled out anywhere in the volume. The back cover copy notes it’s “retold with simplicity and sincerity from the Gospels,” but there should be a clear indication that the text is a compilation from several books of the Bible. Though the retelling is polished and easy to understand, the sentence length and complexity indicate a story for older children, while the soft-focus, rather sweet illustrations seem targeted to a preschool audience. The volume’s small trim size and a cover decorated with sparkly gold stars also give the impression that the book is aimed toward a younger audience than the text would indicate.
Suitable for advanced preschoolers who can listen one-on-one to an adult reading a longer, more complex story or for older children who don’t object to a book that seems designed for little ones. (Picture book/religion. 4-8)