Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Child Was Born: A First Nativity Book

Now is the time to share with your young children the story of Jesus’ birth. A Child Was Born: A First Nativity Book, written by Grace Maccarone and illustrated by Sam Williams, tells the story of Jesus’ birth. Written in rhyme, the short verses introduce young children to the New Testament story.
Here’s a sample:
Mary and Joseph
arrived at night,
in a city asleep
and locked up tight.

Short verses, like this one, relate the events of that blessed night: Mary and Joseph’s arrival in Bethlehem (although the city’s name is never mentioned); Jesus’ birth in the stable; the Angels announcing the birth to the Shepherds; and the Wise Men bearing gifts.

The watercolor illustrations are kid-friendly, with amusing animals and charming, cherubic angels.

What I Like: I like the short verses and the illustrations. The illustrations will capture a child’s attention and the short verses will keep them interested.
What I Dislike: I’m not a big fan of rhyming picture books because it’s so difficult to make the rhyme natural and keep the rhythm smooth. The rhythm in this book is erratic and the rhyme schemes are forced at times. For example, the author uses the word “him” to rhyme with “inn.” Fortunately, the verses are short. And, a young child won't notice that everything doesn't rhyme properly.
Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: 2-5.

Publisher Info: Scholastic Trade, 2000; ISBN: 0439140870; Paperback: $5.99.

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