There are many new holiday picture books, including these stories surrounding the Nativity.
Daniel, a homeless boy, takes refuge in a Bethlehem stable before noticing a couple is also there and the wife is having a baby — a baby names Jesus. He wants to give the child a gift, and his only possession is a silver ring. But that won't be the only time Daniel meets the Savior in this story by a University of Utah graduate and illustrated by a Brigham Young University graduate. Because of the amount of text, it's best for parents to read to their children or for older readers. — Christine Rappleye
This perfect bedtime story includes a traditional scene at the birth of Jesus followed by a contemporary one as a youngster settles in bed where a crÈche depicts a Bethlehem scene. “A Christmas Goodnight” would be a wonderful first gift for a child who is just bubbling over with holiday excitement and finding sleep hard to find.
Animal mother and child love is reflected in the simple rhyming couplets, which lead to Mary, Joseph and baby surrounded by loving animal pairs. Lauren Thompson notes that all animals portrayed are actually ones that could be found at the time of Jesus’ birth in the Holy Land.
Dandi Daley Mackall has taken a unique approach to the Nativity through the possible sounds heard on that “miraculous Christmas night,” such as the animals' noises, the hustle and bustle of many people crowded in Bethlehem and simply the slap of sandals on village paths. Steve Johnson’s iridescent blue drawings are appropriately for this quiet story.