A Gift for the Christ Child

Overview

A heartwarming Nativity story with which the youngest listeners will identify. Miriam wishes with all her heart that she were bigger and more important, like her older brother, Malachai, who gets to do all kinds of jobs around the family's inn. One day, when the inn is bustling with visitors who have come to Bethlehem to be counted, Miriam gets her chance. Her mother asks her to lead a man and a young woman on a donkey down to the stable. Miriam takes her job very seriously. She knows it is important to find the ...

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Overview

A heartwarming Nativity story with which the youngest listeners will identify. Miriam wishes with all her heart that she were bigger and more important, like her older brother, Malachai, who gets to do all kinds of jobs around the family's inn. One day, when the inn is bustling with visitors who have come to Bethlehem to be counted, Miriam gets her chance. Her mother asks her to lead a man and a young woman on a donkey down to the stable. Miriam takes her job very seriously. She knows it is important to find the safest path to the stable. Slowly, very slowly, she leads the way down the hill. And later that night, when Miriam shares in a miracle—the birth of the Christ Child—her own wish finally comes true.

When Miriam finally gets to help around the inn like her big brother, she shows Mary and Joseph to the stable, where later that night Christ is born.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Miriam is too small to help out much in her parents' inn. Her brother Malachai gets to go to the market every morning to buy vegetables and gossip. Miriam longs to be important, to contribute in some way. Her mother assures her that she is very important to the family, but promises to think of some task just the right size for Miriam. It is a busy time in Bethlehem, as people are arriving for the census. Soon, a perfect job for Miriam arises—Miriam can lead the newest arrivals to the stable, for there is no longer any room in the inn. Later that night, Miriam cannot sleep and is drawn to the stable, where she notices a light shining. Soon, she comes to realize just how important her role has been. Luminous, full-page illustrations help advance the tale. 2004, North-South, Ages 4 to 8.
—Dr. Judy Rowen
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Miriam, the daughter of an innkeeper in Bethlehem, is tired of being too little and unimportant to help out, so when a man and his pregnant wife arrive at the overcrowded inn, she is happy to lead them to the stable. Later that night, the girl is one of the first to give a gift to Baby Jesus, her own blanket, making her feel important after all. The lovely illustrations, soft and smoky with touches of bright warmth, are full of child appeal. Each event, whether small or earthshaking, is seen from the perspective of the winsome heroine, which gives this familiar story a new immediacy and charm.-E. M. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The well-worn theme of bringing gifts for the baby Jesus receives a new twist in this gentle Christmas story, because the giver of this gift is a little girl named Miriam. She is the young daughter of the innkeepers in Bethlehem who tell Joseph and Mary that they have no more rooms. Miriam has been asking her mother to be allowed to help with the family business as her older brother does, and she receives her wish when she's allowed to show Mary and Joseph the way to the stable. Later that night Miriam gives her own red blanket to the newborn Christ Child, finding her sense of self-worth in her generous act. The simply told text has a soft, tender tone that reflects Miriam's loving relationship with her mother and her secure place in her world. The soft-focus illustrations extend this peaceful feeling with a muted palette of glowing colors. The illustrations of curly-haired Miriam help bring her character to life: a barefooted little girl with a lamb, a doll, and a blanket, and a wish to be important to her family. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735819580
  • Publisher: North-South Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Pages: 24
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.64 (w) x 11.36 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Tina Jahnert was born in Stuttgart, Germany. She now lives with her husband and their three children near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is her first book for North-South.

Alessandra Roberti was born in Italy. She studied at the Art Institute of Urbino and the Art Academy of Florence. She now divides her time between Tuscany and Marches where she teaches art and design. For North-South she has illustrated "The Fox and the Stork and "Abel and the Wolf.

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