Concordia Publishing House
The Story of Christmas by Stephanie Jeffs and John Hayson is a children's picture book that provides a very condensed overview of the birth of Christ. In a page and a half we have the appearance of Gabriel telling Mary she will become pregnant with God's Son. In four pages Mary and Joseph get engaged, they leave for Bethlehem, they arrive, they search desperately all day for lodging, and they finally settle into a stable. In two pages Mary goes through labor, delivers the baby, makes a wrap for him from torn pieces of cloth, and settles him down to rest. In six pages all the angels proclaim the birth of the Savior, the shepherds make their way to the stable and offer worship, and even the animals are in awe of the Christ child. In two pages Mary and Joseph travel to the temple, they meet Anna, they have the baby circumcised, and they travel all the way back to Jerusalem. A few more pages are added to bring in the Wise Men and the deception of Herod. Whew! Talk about breakneck speed! This is like the Reader's Digest version of the Book of Luke.
The artwork is realistic, not cartoonish, in its depiction of people, animals, villages, starry nights, and temples. Some of the words, such as "census," "pregnant," and "circumcision" will need parental help in understanding. Also, there are some aspects to the story that are extra-biblical, as in saying that Bethlehem had only one inn. Overall, however, it is a pretty traditional overview of the Christmas story. – Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
A baby was born in Bethlehem more than two thousand years ago. Angels from heaven announced His arrival. Shepherds on the hillsides rejoiced at His coming. Wise Men from far-off lands brought Him gifts and worshiped Him. And His mother, Mary, stored all these things in her heart. A baby was born in Bethlehem more than two thousand years ago. Angels from heaven announced His arrival. Shepherds on the hillsides rejoiced at His coming