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by Stephanie S. Tolan & illustrated by Margie Moore

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-001197-1
Publisher: HarperCollins

Bartholomew is a tiny mouse, “a small animal, used to being ignored.” The larger creatures from his part of Bethlehem are trotting off to the stable for the blessing of the animals by the newborn Prince of Peace. At the invitation of an angel and a fox, Bartholomew follows along, gathering up some tiny gifts along the way, but he falls into a stream and loses them all. Wet and dejected, he creeps into the stable and up onto the frame of the manger to see the baby. Bartholomew sneezes, which makes the Christ Child smile, in turn making the little mouse smile and feel as big as the other animals—his own special blessing. Though stories with the theme of gifts for baby Jesus exist in many versions, this account is told in lyrical, flowing prose, paired with delightful watercolor illustrations from Moore. Her paintings are sweet without being cloying, and her Bartholomew has definite personality and appeal. The final page of this gentle story shows an outdoor vista of the peaceful stable scene, speckled with snow, and “filled with blessings.” (Picture book. 4-7)