________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 15 . . . . March 29, 2002

cover A Child Was Born: A First Nativity Book.

Grace Maccarone. Illustrated by Sam Williams.
New York, NY: Scholastic (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada), 2000.
24 pp., cloth, $15.99.
ISBN 0-439-18296-4.

Subject Heading:
Jesus Christ-Nativity-Juvenile literature.

Preschool / Ages 2-4.

Review by Christina Neigel.

*** /4

Adding balance to the wide array of children's "Christmas" picture books, this engaging retelling of the Nativity draws the reader back to the origins of this holiday. Through the use of gentle, springing rhythm, Grace Maccarone introduces the very young to the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Via the careful selection of only the most significant details of the original story, Maccarone has created a poetic version of the Nativity that will be readily enjoyed by young children.

inside art

"Mary and Joseph
arrived at night,
in a city asleep
and locked up tight.

Tired and worn,
they went to the inn -
no room for her,
no room for him."

     Sam Williams captures this simplicity in the soft and colourful lines of his watercolour illustrations. In fact, the artistry is a wonderful complement to the text, sharing its gentleness and rhythm. The uncomplicated imagery and the short verse bring feeling and clarity to the events of Jesus' birth as they unfold. The tender faces of the human characters, particularly Mary and Joseph, and the rounded, friendly figures of the animals create a sense of warmth and welcome that will appeal to the very young.

     Regardless of one's religious roots, this retelling is both sweet and moving.

Recommended.

Christina Neigel is the Instruction Librarian at the University College of the Cariboo in Kamloops, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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