An Angel Came to Nazareth

Overview

As the first Christmas draws near, four travelers must make their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. An angel asks four animals to choose which traveler they would like to carry. The horse chooses the brave soldier; the camel, the wise king; the ox, the good Samaritan. But the donkey, who chooses the poor woman with child, discovers that his humble-looking passenger is the one carrying the greatest of them all. With its simple rhymes, lavish illustrations and eye-catching foil throughout, this book conveys the very ...

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Overview

As the first Christmas draws near, four travelers must make their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. An angel asks four animals to choose which traveler they would like to carry. The horse chooses the brave soldier; the camel, the wise king; the ox, the good Samaritan. But the donkey, who chooses the poor woman with child, discovers that his humble-looking passenger is the one carrying the greatest of them all. With its simple rhymes, lavish illustrations and eye-catching foil throughout, this book conveys the very special spirit of the Christmas season.

Because Mary and Joseph must travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, an angel offers four beasts the choice to carry the greatest burden.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The lavish watercolor-and-gouche illustrations on heavy textured paper are lovely..." -School Library Journal

"Kneen's watercolor-and-gouache illustrations have a greeting-card prettiness...with arched framing devices that suggest stained glass windows." - Kirkus Reviews

"Kneen's sumptuous watercolor and gouache paintings, embossed with texture and gold foil accents, convey the awesomeness of Jesus' birth in this novel retelling of the Nativity. An angel asks four beasts of burden to assist four different travelers on the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem, noting that only one animal shall carry "the greatest of them all." The donkey, who selects last, transports not king, soldier, or Samaritan, but a poor pregnant woman. The simple yet reverent rhyming text reveals the identity of the donkey's precious passenger." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

Publishers Weekly
Kneen's (The Lonely Scarecrow) sumptuous watercolor and gouache paintings, embossed with texture and gold foil accents, convey the awesomeness of Jesus' birth in this novel retelling of the Nativity. An angel asks four beasts of burden to assist four different travelers on the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem, noting that only one animal shall carry "the greatest of them all." The donkey, who selects last, transports not king, soldier, or Samaritan, but a poor pregnant woman. The simple yet reverent rhyming text reveals the identity of the donkey's precious passenger. Ages 4-8. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Maggie Kneen's gold-accented, embossed illustrations and Knott's rhymes tell the story of the first Christmas. The viewpoint characters are animals who are being asked to carry different travelers to Bethlehem--king, soldier, Samaritan, or pregnant woman (Mary). The donkey, choosing last, brings the "greatest of them all." The rhythm, the focus on animals, and engaging pictures make for a great first introduction to the nativity story. 2005, Chronicle, Ages 3 to 6.
—Susie Wilde
Kirkus Reviews
This traditional retelling of the Nativity story uses the device of an angel announcing to four beasts of burden and four travelers that one of them will carry "the greatest of them all" on their journey from Nazareth. Each pair is introduced and then moves on toward Bethlehem, with the donkey carrying Mary, who is presented as carrying the greatest burden. The structure of the rhyming text is rather old-fashioned, often using unfamiliar grammatical structures in order to fit the rhyme scheme, and the text itself is sometimes a bit sing-song rather than poetic. Kneen's watercolor-and-gouache illustrations have a greeting-card prettiness, using patterned borders and arched framing devices that suggest stained-glass windows. The card-stock pages are embossed with textured details and touches of sparkling gold for halos, crowns and the star, also seen in the gold lettering of the title on the cover. The final spread is wordless, with three arched sections creating an elaborate Nativity scene set against a startling, star-spangled sky in shades of red. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811847988
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Series: Templar Series
  • Pages: 24
  • Age range: 1 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Maggie Kneen was born and raised in England. She studied illustration at Liverpool Polytechnic and at the Central School of Art and Design in London.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2005

    A beautiful book!

    This is one of the most beautiful books one could ever own. It's the story of the first Christmas told in lilting verse through the eyes of the animals. Richly illustrated with special embossed details make this book a treasure for many, many generations. I am proud to own it in my own personal collection, and will purchase many copies as Christmas gifts for my family and friends.

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