Asleep in the Stable

Asleep in the Stable

by Will Hillenbrand

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Whooo better than a baby barn owl to deliver a bird's-eye-view of the Nativity? While the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the animals sleep in the stable, Baby Owl and his mother are just waking up for their usual nighttime breakfast. As the feathered youngster inquires about "that baby sleeping in the nest below," Mama's soothing answers provide a lilting, lullaby-like rendition of the first Christmas. Hillenbrand's (Down on the Farm) starry mixed-media night skies and a shadow-filled barn serve as backdrop for wide-eyed owls and the peaceful Holy Child. Perfect for Christmas Eve sharing with little ones. Ages 3-6. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
When Baby Owl awakes at night he sees a newborn baby in the stable and asks his Mama "Whoooo" is that baby. His Mama tells him that it is "Jesus, the Holy Child" and explains that he is there with his earthly father and his mother, and that he has a Heavenly Father, too. She talks about God's love, which is reflected in the loving exchanges between Baby Owl and his Mama. Hillenbrand effectively uses his mixed media and collage technique to create illustrations that are simple enough for preschoolers but have enough interest for young primary-grade children. The expressive owls are perched above the nativity scene. Shadows come into play in several scenes. A restful, loving and serene addition to the Christmas collection. 2004, Holiday House, Ages 3 to 6.
—Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-K-When Baby Owl asks, "WHOOOO- is that baby sleeping in the nest below?" his mother gives more of a theological explanation than is normally included in a Nativity story for young children. Mama Owl tells the curious youngster that this Holy Child has a Heavenly Father as well as an earthly father. She also tells him that "God, his Heavenly Father, has given him the warmth of his love instead of feathers." The mixed-media illustrations are sweet and appealing. However, while Baby Owl is satisfied with the details provided about this Child, human parents may find that this story raises more questions than it answers with their youngsters.-V. W. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
From their perch high in the rafters of the stable, Baby Owl and Mama Owl look down on the manger scene in this delightful introduction to the Nativity story. Baby Owl asks a series of innocently humorous questions beginning with "WHOOOO is that baby sleeping in the nest below?" All-knowing Mama Owl answers each question, patiently identifying the characters in the stable and explaining some beginning theological questions as well (such as the distinction between Jesus's earthly and heavenly fathers). The story ends with a tender exchange between Mama Owl and Baby Owl before the mother flies off to find breakfast for her child. By focusing on the owls as narrators and observers of the Nativity scene, the author skillfully imparts some key Christian concepts for young listeners, while at the same time creating a satisfying and simple story of a caring parent-child relationship. Hillenbrand's mixed-media collage illustrations are just as successful as his text, with pleasing variance in perspective and appealing owl characters. (Picture book. 3-7)

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Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

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