Book Review: The Story of Christmas

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Story of Christmas tells the traditional Nativity story, pleasantly illustrated with a single sentence describing each important scene. By necessity, some important details are left out which will have to be filled in later: Joseph is referred to as Mary’s husband rather than her fiance.  This is an understandable simplification given that they were in an engagement contract somewhere between a Western engagement and marriage, and this takes far more explanation than is possible in a board book.  Still, a reader might miss the fact that Jesus was the direct offspring of God, not Joseph.  There is also a mention of a cow and donkey in the stable, which is a plausible inference but is not strictly supported by the Gospel account (Luke 2:1-7), which doesn’t say whether Mary rode a donkey to Bethlehem, or if any animals were present that night.

Still, all the major events are presented nicely: the angel’s appearance, the journey to Bethlehem, arrival at Bethlehem, no room in the inn, the baby’s birth, the announcement to the shepherds, and the tribute of the kings.  The book grounds the story in modern Christmas observance of giving gifts, ending with, “We give gifts at Christmas to show our love and to say, ‘Happy birthday, Baby Jesus.’”

This is not an essential addition to a Christian family’s observance of Christmas, but is a very nice read-aloud for very young listeners.  It covers the events in a detailed enough way that they will be familiar when the listener is ready for a fuller version.  Its illustrations are more detailed than other Nativity board books I have seen and ought to provide some interest for toddler “read-alone” time as well as read-aloud.

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Publication Information: Pingry, Patricia A.. Story of Christmas, The. Wells, Lorraine. Candy Cane Press. 1998. ISBN: 0824940911.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 00-04
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Posted on December 7, 2009

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