All for the Newborn Baby
by Phyllis Root illustrated by Nicola Bayley
published by Candlewick Press in 2000
- This book is the winner of my recommendation for ideal picture book- bedtime story to share the Christmas story of Jesus birth
- Stunning illustrations and lyrical text combine beautifully
The inn was full.
It was cold in the stable, dark and bare.
But Mary held her baby close, and when he fussed, as babies do, she sang a little cradle song all for the newborn baby.
Like tiny candles
Light the stable
Where you sleep.
- This book offers an insightful and detailed look at woodland flora and fauna surrounding the holy family with intricate botanical illustrations
A silken blanket,
Lays it on your
- A rare beauty- a special book to keep as part of your Christmas treasury or a fabulous gift to give
The Crippled Lamb
by Max Lucado with Jenna, Andrea, & Sara Lucado
published by Scholastic in 1994
- Precious tale of God’s amazing provision and care framed with the backdrop of the story of the birth of Christ
- Lucado uses a little lamb called Joshua- who is born with a leg which did not work properly- subsequently the little lamb could not keep up with the other sheep in the flock
- Josh has a special friend in Abigail- the big brown cow- she likes to comfort Josh and tell him that he should not feel discouraged :
It made him sad to be the only lamb who could not run and jump and play in the grass.
That’s when Abigail would turn to him and say, “Don’t be sad, little Joshua. God has a special place for those who feel left out.”
- Joshua is left behind as the other sheep are called by the shepherd to go on a long trip into the surrounding valley- The kindly shepherd urges Josh instead to rest in the stable with Abigail and take shelter for the night.
For a little while, Joshua forgot that he had been left behind.
“Go to sleep, little friend.” Abigail said after they finished eating.
“You’ve had a hard day.”
Josh was tired. So he lay down in the corner on some straw and closed his eyes. He felt Abigail lie down beside him, and he was glad to have Abigail as a friend.
- An amazing event occurs – and Joshua is challenged to help provide assistance to the cold baby Jesus – born in the stable that night.
Joshua looked down at the baby. Somehow he knew this was a special child, and this was a special moment.
He also understood why he had been born with a crippled leg.
Had he been like the other sheep, he would have been in the valley. But since he was different, he was in the stable, among the first to welcome Jesus into the world.
The Night Before Christmas
The Classic Edition
by Clement C. Moore
illustrated by Christian Birmingham
published by Pavilion Books in 1995
This is a superb version of the Classic Children’s Christmas Story- based on the poem, written by Clement Clarke Moore- under the title of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” in 1822. Many families around the world will read aloud this magical tale on Christmas Eve- as part of their Christmas tradition – This is the version I read from in my house. I love the quality of the illustrations- the darkly quiet winter night scenes and Birmingham’s delightful interpretation of Saint Nick- is spot on in my opinion- the perfect blend of “lively and quick” and a “right jolly old elf”.
With a little old driver
so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment
it must be St. Nick.
His droll little mouth
was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin
was as white as the snow!
Papa’s Christmas Gift
Around the World on the Night Before Christmas
written and illustrated by Cheryl Harness
published by Simon & Schuster Books in 1995
- This is a super companion book to the previous title- it explores the life and times of the poet Clement Moore- deftly sharing scenes from around the world – in an age appropriate manner- giving insight to the geo political challenges which were occurring in the 1820’s –
- the building of the erie canal
- the death of Napoleon- and it’s sequelae
- the Zulu Empire of Shaka the great
- This is only naming a few of the events touched on- this really is an extraordinary book- it is written as a poem being read aloud(by Clement C. Moore) to his own children- and allowing them to look into scenes of Christmas preparations around the World
He rustled his papers, settled deep in his chair.
“Twas the night before Christmas.” Papa read.
Visions of Santa danced in their heads.
By the flickering fire, the children listen with delight
As high above the great round world,
a sleigh flies through the night.
Faster than eagles the reindeer fly, over the salty seas, Over the islands and laughing mermaids, over beaches, palmy trees, Over pirate ships and fishing boats, tall ships with flags and sails.
Speed away, magic sleigh, high over the spouting whales.
In African treetops green and tall, Monkeys chatter; bright birds call. Lions chase zebras through the grassland
As the Nile winds through a sea of sand.
The time of harvesting has come:
Give thanks in dance! Sound the drum!
Following a distant star,
Pilgrims come to Bethlehem, gather from afar.
They kneel in tiny, smoky chapels, look up at the sky,
Listening for angels, singing from on high.
Final Instalment of Christmas Picture Books- coming in the next few days- Dear Readers- for those who are keen for me to move onto a new topic…the end is in sight! I promise – only one more Christmas Book post.