Concordia Publishing House
Although we've heard the Christmas story told many times, Julie Stiegemeyer offers a different point of view in Fear Not, Joseph. This first person narration comes from Joseph, the husband of the virgin Mary, and it covers the time of his engagement, the pregnancy of his fiance, his marriage, the trek to Bethlehem, the birth of the savior, and the escape from Herod's purging of Jewish children (Matt. 1). Not included are incidents related to the shepherds or the wise men. Based on historical research, as well as information gleaned from Matthew 1 and Matthew 13, this story shows the rather normal life of a woodworker after it is radically changed by the announcement from an angel that Joseph is to be the earthly father of the son of God, whom he is instructed to name Jesus.
Throughout the story, the repeated theme of "Fear not, Joseph" echoes in the main character's mind as he first worries about Mary's inexplicable pregnancy, then he worries about making the long journey to Bethlehem with his expecting wife, and later he panics over the pending arrival of the child while they are in a cave used to shelter animals. In each instance, the comforting words of the angel come back to him, and Joseph relies on God's protection.
The artwork by Cheri Bladholm is very sophisticated. The mother's proud expression as she looks at her newborn child, the meticulous details of the wool on the lambs and the hair on the donkeys and the red wings on the roosters inside the manger, and the colorful robes and headdresses of the tradespeople in the market square, all combine to add graphic reinforcement to a very moving story. This is a beautifully illustrated book with a fresh angle on a familiar story. -- Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Scripture offers little about the man who married Mary and reared Jesus, but Joseph was key to God's promise to send a Savior. Jesus was not his biological son, but God made Joseph His adopted father, the provider and caretaker of Mary, and our Savior, Jesus.
This picture book inspired by Scripture tells the story of Christmas from Joseph's point of view.