Friday, November 4, 2011

One Night in Bethlehem

There are few kids who don't enjoy a touch-and-feel books, making Jill Roman Lord's One Night in Bethlehem a welcome addition to the Christmas bookshelf.

This board book begins with a mother and toddler boy playing with a nativity set. The little boy wonders what he might have done if he'd been present the night Jesus was born.

If he'd been a lamb, he thinks, he would have cuddled up to Jesus to keep him warm. If he'd been a cow, he would have mooed so loud everyone would know Jesus Christ was born. If he'd been an angel, he would have sung praises the l
oudest. If he'd been a shepherd, he'd have been the first to see Jesus. If he'd been a wise man, he would have brought the baby the gift of a teddy bear.

On all but the first and last two-page spread, there is a texture to touch: the lamb's coat, the cow's suede hide, an angel's silky robe, a shepherd's rough tunic, a glittery star, and a teddy's soft fur.

The book ends:

"Although I wasn't there that night
or near the manger stall,
I still can spread the news about
God's greatest gift of all.
I still can hoot and holler and
sing praises to His name
and shout, 'I love you, Jesus!
I'm so very glad you came.'"

What I Like: Lord is a proven writer with excellent skills; One Night in Bethlehem's rhyming text is easy to read and ignites children's imaginations about one of the greatest events in history. The illustrations by Paige Keiser are soft, showing the toddler boy as his imagined shepherd, angel, and wise man. Both my children also enjoyed the touch and feel aspect of the book.
What I Dislike: I think the touch and feels should have offered better variety.
Overall Rating: Very good.
Age Appeal: Baby and up.
Publishing Info: Candy Cane Press; 2011; ISBN: 978-0824918637; board book, 16 pgs., $8.99.

Buy Now at for $8.99

OR buy at for $7.19

Special Info: Read our other reviews of books by Jill Roman Lord.
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