Christmas Is Here

Overview

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

Audiences from religious and secular worlds alike are familiar with the comforting words from the second chapter of Luke in the King James Bible, most memorably featured in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Just as Linus reminded his community of the real meaning of Christmas, this touching tribute to an ancient text reminds us to focus on family and our ...

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Overview

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

Audiences from religious and secular worlds alike are familiar with the comforting words from the second chapter of Luke in the King James Bible, most memorably featured in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Just as Linus reminded his community of the real meaning of Christmas, this touching tribute to an ancient text reminds us to focus on family and our fellow man instead of on gifts and indulgences. Accompanying the timeless, reassuring text is sweet, nostalgic artwork from acclaimed illustrator Lauren Castillo that embraces today’s ever-changing definition of family.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Snowflakes fall on a young family watching a live nativity scene in their city neighborhood. As the boy peers into the manger, the story shifts to an ancient field underneath gentle moonglow and a brilliant star's guiding light on the holy night observed by shepherds. By literally bookending the traditional account of Jesus' birth (with text from the King James Bible) with cheery modern imagery, sans commercial trappings, Castillo underscores the connection between past and present. Sketched in thick, black line, her kind-looking figures, human and animal, convey a wealth of emotion. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
The first two-page spread shows a father with a child in his arms, a mother locking the door to a row house, and a small child with a dog on a leash on a snowy sidewalk. Another person trims a Christmas tree in front of her house. Nailed to a tree is a sign proclaiming "LIVE NATIVITY TONIGHT!" The second two-page spread shows the family at the live nativity. A sign reads "COME Celebrate JESUS' BIRTH!" The third two-page spread shows the child peering over the side of the manger at the baby. After these spreads, the story of the shepherds as drawn from Luke 2:8-14 of the King James edition of the Bible is illustrated phrase by phrase. "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field" appears on a two-page spread of grazing sheep and three shepherds holding crooks. The book ends with an illustration of the family and a group of singers at the live nativity. Pen-and-ink drawings, filled in with watercolor, are overlaid with fluffy snowflakes at the live creche. The youngest children and their parents will enjoy this ancient story brought to life through Castillo's wonderful illustrations. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—The only text in this book is a few sentences from the King James Bible, and many of the ink and watercolor illustrations, in soothing tones of brown and gray with bold outlines, are wordless. They show a modern family—mom, dad, babe in arms, and dog-walking child—out for a stroll on a snowy evening, when they come across a small, outdoor Christmas pageant. As the child peers into the manger, readers are taken back in time to Bethlehem, with illustrations of sheep grazing over a dry Middle Eastern landscape as the shepherds learn of the birth of Jesus. As light from the star streams down over the holy family and shepherds leaning over the manger, the scene switches with a turn of the page back to the modern family singing carols in the snow in front of the manger. The theme—that the most basic meaning of Christmas has remained the same over the centuries—is conveyed with a warm and captivating simplicity that even the youngest child will understand.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

This touching interpretation of the Christmas story wordlessly follows a modern-day family as they journey through a snowy town in the evening to view a live Nativity scene. The family includes a baby in a white snowsuit, who provides a subtle symbolic connection to the baby in the manger in both the re-created scene and the Nativity story that follows. As an older child peeks in at the baby in the manger, the setting shifts in time and place to Bethlehem of long ago, accompanied by the traditional words from the King James Bible, before returning to the contemporary setting. Gorgeous watercolor illustrations in a subdued palette of twilight grays set off the falling snowflakes in the modern scenes, while the biblical scenes are brilliantly lit by starlight. Castillo's smudgy style infuses all with wonder. (Picture book/religion. 4-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442408227
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/5/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,002,191
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Lauren Castillo is the illustrator of several wonderful picture books including What Happens on Wednesdays by Emily Jenkins and That's Papa's Way by Kate Banks. Her books have received starred reviews from School Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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