"Therefore, Christians all, be sure,
wealth or rank possessing,
ye who now will bless the poor,
shall yourselves find blessing."
The book uses all the verses of the song; except for a short introduction (which explains who the king was), there is no additional text. The last page of the book features simple piano sheet music and all the lyrics to the carol.
What I Like: Tim Ladwig's illustrations are gorgeous, featuring the shadows and lights cast by candles and fireplaces, and the glow of the moon on snowy scenes. He does a superb job of bringing this traditional carol to life. The cover of the book does the inner illustrations no justice at all.
I also must admit I didn't know the carol before reading this book. No matter. I hopped onto YouTube to listen to it, and immediately enjoyed it. I also let my children listen to the carol before we read the book. (You could also look at the book while the carol is playing, but there are a number of pages in the book that are wordless. These add a great deal to the story, showing the page gathering food, and showing the poor man's reaction to the gift of the food - but make it difficult to listen to the carol and look at the book at the same time.)
What I Dislike: Some of the lyrics are slightly modified from the original version, presumably to make the carol easier for young children to understand.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: According to the publisher, 5 and up, but my 3 year old likes the book, too.
Publishing Info: Eerdmans; 2005; ISBN: 978-0802852090; hardback, 32 pgs., $17.
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