However, this isn’t your normal Christmas story. This one is divided into chapters and starts with a chapter titled, “The Birth of John Foretold.” The next chapter is “The Birth of Jesus Foretold.” Subsequent chapters tell the story Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, the birth of John the Baptist, the angel’s visit to Joseph, Jesus’ birth, and the visit of the three Wise Men.
Bible references are given for each chapter of the story. Each chapter also includes a list of vocabulary words that are used in the text, along with questions for the reader to answer, something for the reader to do, and a prayer to pray that corresponds to the text. For example, in the chapter titled “The Birth of John,” Luke Chapter One is given as the Bible reference. The vocabulary words are mercy, prophesied, redeemed, prophets and salvation.
The reader is asked: “When the baby was born, who came to rejoice with Zechariah and Elizabeth? What did Zechariah and Elizabeth name the baby? What did Zechariah say about the baby? All of these questions provide a background for discussion about the story’s contents.
The reader is told: “God’s people still sing Zechariah’s happy words. Make up a happy song about how God has blessed your family.”
The reader is given this prayer: “Heavenly Father, You sent John to tell people that Jesus was coming to forgive their sins. Thank you for grown-up people who tell me that Jesus loves me and can forgive the wrong things I think or say or do. Amen.”
The song "Oh, Come, Little Children” is printed on the inside of the back cover.
The illustrations, done by Corbert Gauthier, Cheri Bladholm, and Phil Howe, are beautifully painted, creating life-life characters that look like they could walk out of the pages of the book.
What I Like: Everything.
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: 4-8.
Publisher Info: Concordia Publishing House, 2011; ISBN: 9780758619082; Hardcover, $13.99.
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