Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Innkeeper's Wife

The Innkeeper’s Wife, written and illustrated by Muriel Drake Ryan, Ph. D., is the story of Jesus’ birth told from the viewpoint of, appropriately, the innkeeper’s wife.

Bethlehem is a very busy place with its citizens returning to the place of their birth to be counted in the census and pay their taxes. As such, the inns and lodging houses are bursting at the seams with guests.

Aaron the Innkeeper is thrilled to have so many people staying in his inn. He loves having the extra business and he loves having other people around. Hannah, his wife, does not share his sentiments. All the extra guests in the inn mean extra work for her: cooking, cleaning, serving. When Mary and Joseph show up in the middle of the night, she is unhappy that her husband has added another burden to her heavy workload. Now she must take care of people in the stables. What was he thinking?

I’m glad to report that she has a change of heart but I won’t give away the rest of the story.

The illustrations are expressive and work well with the story.

What I Like: I like the idea of Jesus’ birth being told from a different perspective. I realize that the story isn’t true to the Bible, but I think it can be helpful to show children how other people were affected by the wonderful event.

What I Dislike: I really liked the illustrations but I didn’t care for the layout of the book. There were way too many words and not enough illustrations to go with them, too many pages with nothing but words on them and no illustrations to break up the text.

There were also several punctuation errors in the text.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: 8-12.

Publisher Info: WestBow Press, 2012; ISBN: 9781449762445; Paperback, $16.95.

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