Christmas in the Barn

Overview

What child is this
Who is born here
Where the oxen
Stomp and peer . . .

When Christmas in the Barn was first published in 1952, it demonstrated all of Margaret Wise Brown's mastery at skillfully fashioning a truly childlike interpretation of the Nativity story. For this larger, full-color edition, Caldecott Honor artist Diane Goode has ...

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Overview

What child is this
Who is born here
Where the oxen
Stomp and peer . . .

When Christmas in the Barn was first published in 1952, it demonstrated all of Margaret Wise Brown's mastery at skillfully fashioning a truly childlike interpretation of the Nativity story. For this larger, full-color edition, Caldecott Honor artist Diane Goode has created a new tableau of visitors to the barn that will delight generations of new readers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Diane Goode's pen-and-ink and watercolor wash illustrations update the Nativity story originally published in 1952 (with artwork by Barbara Cooney), Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown. The rhythmic narrative echoes the lyrics of several familiar carols, while Goode's compositions are simultaneously sweet and respectful of the book's theme. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
"And two people who had lost their way/Walked into the barn at the end of the day/ And they were allowed to sleep in the hay/'Because there was no room in the inn.'" Here in the barn the woman gives birth surrounded by the cows, sheep, horses ox and donkey. Shepherds arrived, and wise men who had been following the bright star stayed to see the dawn. There, in that ancient barn, everyone was safe and warm. The soft, simple poetic text has a gentle, lovely cadence. The illustrations, too, have innocence to them. Effective use of white space helps the reader focus on the animals and people. Goode has used shades of blue in her cold, snowy landscapes and golds and warm earth tones for the scenes inside the barn. This story, which parallels that of the birth of Christ, will be enjoyed by parents and children together. 2004 (orig. 1952), HarperCollins, Ages 3 to 7.
—Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Originally published in 1952 (HarperCollins) and illustrated by Barbara Cooney, this simple and lovely interpretation of the Nativity story is now large enough to share with a good-sized audience. Brown's text remains unchanged-a lilting rhyme filled with snippets of familiar carols ("Away in a manger, no crib for his bed/What child is this who lays down his sweet head?"). Although the narrative clearly describes an "ancient" barn, Goode's light-filled illustrations depict a relatively modern, snowy farm, making it uncertain if this is actually the holy family, or another man and woman who happen to be giving birth in a barn. Despite this quibble, this is a worthy addition to holiday shelves.-M. A. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Brown's quietly understated text, first published in 1952 with different illustrations, provides the words for this simple, sweet, and satisfying introduction to the Nativity story. The rhyming narrative, with just a few phrases per page, includes poetic descriptions of the setting and evocative vocabulary describing the sounds of the animals and their behavior, complemented with a few cleverly interwoven phrases from Christmas carols that help describe the action. The unpretentious style of Goode's watercolor-and-ink illustrations is well matched to that of the text, with light-infused views capturing both the warmth of the manger scene and the mystery of the single bright star shining down on snowy hills. Though purists might object to a setting that seems more New England than Middle Eastern, Goode has chosen to illustrate the red barn as a two-story, more modern structure, nestled near a large house on a farm with rolling hills. She also included a rabbit family (mother, father, and baby) throughout many of her illustrations, in tribute to Brown's best-loved works. (Picture book. 2-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064430821
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/1985
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Margaret Wise Brown

Few writers have been as attuned to the concerns and emotions of childhood as Margaret Wise Brown (1910-1952). A graduate of Hollins College and the progressive Bank Street College of Education, she combined her literary aspirations with the study of child development. Her unique ability to see the world through a child's eyes is unequaled. Her many classic books continue to delight thousands of young listeners and readers year after year.

Muy pocos escritores de literatura infantil han logrado captar las emociones e inquietudes de la niñez como Margaret Wise Brown (1910-1952). Sus numerosos y ya clásicos libros y grabaciones continúan deleitando a lectores y oyentes de todas las edades.

Diane Goode is the illustrator of more than fifty beloved and critically acclaimed picture books, including the Caldecott Honor Book When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant. Inspired by the handwritten letters of the Founding Mothers, she begins with their quill and sepia handwriting and spins out the line to re-create their images and the remarkable events of their lives for a new generation of young readers.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Golden MacDonald, Juniper Sage, Timothy Hay
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 23, 1910
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, N.Y.
    1. Date of Death:
      November 13, 1952
    2. Place of Death:
      Nice, France

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