Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The First Christmas

The First Christmas: A Changing-Picture Book. Illustrated by Sophy Williams. 2010. Candlewick. 14 pages.

Long ago, a star appeared in the East above a town called Bethlehem. Seeing the star filled some people with hope, but others--including Herod, the king--were worried. There was an ancient prophecy that a king would be born under a star and that he would be greater than even Herod himself. So Herod ordered his chief priests and scribes to find out all they could about any child born under the star.

The First Christmas is a beautifully illustrated picture book for children. It presents the 'Christmas' story for young readers. While it takes a few liberties* with what we know--from the Bible--it does no more than some traditional christmas carols we sing each year in our churches.

What makes this Christmas picture book unique are the illustrations. Not only are they beautifully done in gentle pastel colors, this is a "changing-picture" picture book. Readers by turning pages--flaps--"change" four pictures.

*I think Herod was more concerned with the fact the child was born in Bethlehem than he was with any child "born under the star." The prophecy was about a child being born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2) The book also has three wise men who arrive shortly after the shepherds finding Jesus (and his parents) in a stable.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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