Mary, great with child. The lively donkey. The dignified wise men. The glorious angels. All the beloved figures of the nativity story are given new life by acclaimed poet and novelist Kevin Crossley-Holland, who links their tales into a chain of voices revealing the miracle and meaning of Christmas. Peter Malone's illustrations glow with the same majestic grace. This is a book for art lovers to admire, poets to praise, and families to read together and treasure.
Though young readers won't come away with an answer to the titular question, they will surely understand from Malone's paintings that something beautiful and important happened in the tiny biblical town. Key players in the first Christmas take turns narrating a piece of the story. Mary ("My baby will be born tonight. Where can I lie down?"), the brightest star ("Follow me"), King Herod and Jesus himself ("I am the child and king") all share their perspective. Crossley-Holland's (The Seeing Stone) poetic style with its reverent, soothing quality smooths over some of the potentially confusing points in the story. Malone's gorgeous paintings, featuring a palette of opulent hues, intricate designs and sophisticated compositions, truly shine. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.