Listen to the Silent Night

( 1 )

Overview

It was not such a silent night when Baby Jesus was born. From the baa, baa, baa of sheep to the flut-flut-flutter of angel wings, it was actually quite noisy! Here, from CBA bestseller Dandi Daley Mackall, is the story of the first Christmas, using the sounds of that miraculous night to really bring the story to life. With rich, gorgeous paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher, this reverent retelling of the nativity is sure to become an essential part of every Christmas ...
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Overview

It was not such a silent night when Baby Jesus was born. From the baa, baa, baa of sheep to the flut-flut-flutter of angel wings, it was actually quite noisy! Here, from CBA bestseller Dandi Daley Mackall, is the story of the first Christmas, using the sounds of that miraculous night to really bring the story to life. With rich, gorgeous paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher, this reverent retelling of the nativity is sure to become an essential part of every Christmas collection.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mackall takes a contrary approach to the traditional silence of Christmas Eve, inviting readers to consider the sounds implied in the story of the birth of Jesus: the flap of Joseph’s sandals as he walked, the noise of the crowd that so filled Bethlehem that there was no room left at any inn, the mooing of cows where Joseph and Mary finally lodged. Mackall’s lines occasionally falter (“Hear the oomph! oomph! oomph! of the shoving game/ Down in Bethlehem where the faithful came”), but Johnson and Fancher’s predominantly blue paintings are jewellike with their emphasis on the sky of “a miraculous Christmas night.” Ages 3–up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
Written in a rhyming style, the author revisits the story of the first Christmas with emphasis on the sounds that may have occurred on the journey to Bethlehem and the birth of the baby Jesus. Rich, darkly hued illustrations from interesting perspectives focus the reader's attention on the sounds being featured such as the swishing desert sand or the fluttering of angel's wings or the sounds that the animals made during the birth. It is the traditional tale with a twist that will keep youngsters anticipating the next sound to be made and revealing that it may not have been such a silent night, after all. The story follows the traditional tale while focusing on other aspects surrounding the event. It is a nice addition to one's collection of Christmas stories. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Rhyming text describes how the first Christmas Eve was anything but a silent night as owls hooted, Joseph's sandals flapped, and cows mooed. The energy and engaging rhythm of these sounds are infectious and will get children joining in, which may prove problematic at the end when "Mary groaned in pain, Joseph by her side/Then a shout rang out—Baby Jesus cried!" Johnson and Fancher's lovely artwork is filled with warm welcoming colors and highly textured details. A noisy account of the miraculous night.—Diane Olivo-Posner, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

Mackall cleverly turns the idea of a silent Christmas Eve night upside down with this poetic view of the first Christmas, focusing on the sounds made by each participant in the Nativity story.

A soaring owl ("who, who, who") leads readers into the story with a glorious bird's-eye view of Mary and Joseph below, followed by pages with the sounds of Joseph's sandals, his knock at the inn's door and the sounds of the animals in the stable. The perfectly rhymed verses continue presenting more sounds of those hurrying to the manger, leading to the concluding cry of the newborn child. The unusual rhyme scheme (abbba) repeats the same first line for each stanza—"It was not such a silent night"—with the following line presenting the next sound distinguished through larger type in italics. The rhythm also contributes to the effect, with a staccato pattern suggestive of hurrying feet. Evocative paintings jointly created by Johanson and Fancher have a unifying element of royal blue skies speckled with stars, echoed in the blue pattern of Mary's robe. The design of each spread incorporates motion in creative ways, with the text set in striking white type.

A fresh take on the Nativity story is a tall order, but this beautifully realized offering sounds like a winner, in every way.(Picture book/religion. 4-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525422761
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/13/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 943,850
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.60 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Dandi Daley Mackall is the author of numerous books for children, including Larger-Than-Life Lara. She lives in West Salem, Ohio, with her husband and their three children.
Lou Fancher lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Steve Johnson lives in Minneapolis, MN.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2011

    Lyrical, lovely

    Can't imagine a more glorious Christmas book--classic!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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