The Christmas Baby
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The Christmas Baby

4.0 4
by Marion Dane Bauer

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When a baby was born in the manger, Mary and Joseph rejoiced. The angels sang, and kings journeyed to bring gifts. When you came into the world, there was a celebration too - because every new baby is a small miracle.


When a baby was born in the manger, Mary and Joseph rejoiced. The angels sang, and kings journeyed to bring gifts. When you came into the world, there was a celebration too - because every new baby is a small miracle.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“Have you heard?... A baby is coming!” Joseph asks innkeeper after innkeeper to no avail, until he reaches a group of laughing barnyard animals who happily make room. Joseph's refrain is echoed by rosy-faced angels and heard by shepherds and kings, who gather to peer at the child who “smiled at the world with God's own smile.” The final pages shift to the birth of a modern infant whose family gathers around its crib. The parallel should hearten the youngest readers, though the jubilantly cutesy acrylics are sweet to the point of saccharine. Ages 2–5. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Christian readers will appreciate the lyrical words and breathtaking illustrations in this gentle holiday tale. Eager to find a place to rest on the night the baby will be born, a man knocks at every door in sight. Turned away from them all, he does not know what to do. The donkey takes matters into her own hands, leading her master and his wife to a stable nearby. The many animals who live there are shown to be eagerly anticipating their arrival, waiting in a cluster outside of the structure. In fact, when the man asks them, "Have you heard?" the animals respond, "We have heard. We have been waiting. Come in." A turn of the page shows the gleeful animals celebrating the baby's arrival. The next page shifts the focus skyward and we see the angels celebrating. Turn the page to find smiling sheep and silhouetted shepherds heading towards the light. Next we see the wise men on their camels following the star. Finally, a double-page spread filled with animals, angels, shepherds, and wise men returns us to the stable. Mary and Joseph are shown only from behind here, and we still cannot see the baby. Then we turn the page. A cherubic, peaceful looking baby lies in the fragrant hay, smiling "at the world with God's own smile." But the story does not end there. "Now …" we read, "every time a baby is born, stars and angels sing." A turn of the page shows family and loved ones surrounding a baby in a crib. The final two pages shift the focus to the child reader, asking "And you—when that dear little baby was you—do you know what you did?" The response is, "You smiled back at us all with God's own smile!" because, of course, all babies are, like Jesus, gifts from God. Many illustratorsmay have fallen short of the charge to illustrate God's own smile, but Richard Cowdrey proves himself to be equal to the challenge. This is a lovely book that both shares the Christmas story and draws the child reader into the wonder of it. Do not miss removing the book jacket to see the cover underneath. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
PreS-K–This simple retelling of the Nativity story begins with Joseph arriving in a tiny town and, after knocking on doors, asking, “Have you heard? A baby! A baby is coming!” After Joseph and Mary are turned away many times, their donkey takes them to a stable filled with beasts that welcome the couple. The acrylic illustrations are mostly endearing but the page with the angels may remind some readers of the children in Disneyland’s “It’s a Small World” attraction. After the shepherds and Wise Men come to pay their respects and bring gifts, the book explains that every time a baby is born, stars and angels sing in their “satin” voices, “Have you heard?” A baby! Our baby is here!” An excess of cuteness adds little to the timeless story.–Diane Olivo-Posner, Los Angeles Public Library

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.50(d)
AD460L (what's this?)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Marion Dane Bauer is the author of many books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor book On My Honor and the New York Times bestseller My Mother Is Mine. Her other titles include A Mama for Owen, If You Were Born a Kitten, Grandmother's Song, and Thank You for Me! She has retired from the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults where she was the first Faculty Chair. She lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and can be reached at

Richard Cowdrey has illustrated many books, including Bambi, The Christmas Baby, and the #1 New York Times bestselling Bad Dog, Marley! He lives in Gambier, Ohio.

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The Christmas Baby 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
RBClark More than 1 year ago
great book
JLKFox More than 1 year ago
This book starts out beautifully...but the last pages cheapen the magnitude of our savior's birth. All babies are special, but not compared to the arrival of Jesus Christ!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book as a gift for a child who also has a Christmas birthday. It is a tough day to share. This book was helpful in making our little girl feel good about having a Christmas birthday. It shares the true message of Christmas and also how special our children are.
RnRHart More than 1 year ago
This is the perfect gift book for parents of a newborn at Christmas time. It can be read to baby over and over again, eventually becoming a favorite. The message is a simple, yet timely one...all babies are special. The illustrations are beautiful and exciting.