The (Nativity) show must go on in this sweet reflection on Christian faith.
A cast of anthropomorphic animals populates this story about a Christmas pageant. Little Chipmunk is excited to participate in the pageant for the first time and goes with his mother to join his faith community of forest friends. But when he arrives, he realizes that he’s “forgotten baby Jesus at home!” Neither the text nor the colorful, soft-edged illustrations explain whether this line refers to a doll of some sort, but that seems to be the logical conclusion. Alarmed and ashamed, Little Chipmunk runs away and hides. Mama finds him and reassures him that “Jesus is always with us. He knows we’re not perfect.” Comforted, Little Chipmunk walks back to the pageant with Mama, and on the way he “spots an unusual stone.” The heart-shaped stone ends up serving as a replacement for the baby Jesus left behind at the Chipmunk home, which is a story development that sadly undermines the core message, reiterated by Little Chipmunk, that “we always have Jesus with us.” Readers who can imagine themselves in Little Chipmunk’s position and who have been reassuring themselves with the knowledge of Jesus’ abiding presence will be forgiven for their confusion.
An accessible, if uneven, Nativity story about a little one learning about Christian faith. (Picture book. 2-5)