Simon and Schuster
When I first taught infants many, many years ago Dick Bruna’s Christmas – the Methuen edition – was THE Christmas nativity book to share with young children. Indeed I can remember a number of children trying to copy Bruna’s illustrative style on their own cards and paintings. Now some thirty years on this new 50th anniversary edition still has the same charm and appeal as it did back then but it comes with a gleaming white cover, gold spine, embossed gold lettering and a lovely cut- out angel to use as a book mark. The story inside is the same and starts with the shepherds who receive a message from an angel
and then set off to Bethlehem to find the baby Jesus in the stable. The narrative then moves to the three kings on their camels, who bring gifts for the special child.
The story is simply told and illustrated in Dutch artist Bruna’s characteristic striking style with bold blocks of colour with thick black outlines.
For the very young, this is the perfect introduction to the nativity story in book form.
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May Eliot and Richard Johnson
Picture Corgi pbk
This story starts with the Annunciation and then we join Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem where they are offered a stable for the birthplace of their baby. Johnson’s faces speak eloquently of the range of emotions of the characters; Mary’s expression of awe and fright at the sight of the Angel Gabriel, the couple’s troubled countenances as they are turned away from lodgings,
and the looks of reverence on the faces of the new parents as they gaze at the baby Jesus in the manger.
A straightforward telling, beautifully illustrated in sombre hues.
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