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On This Special Night

Overview


A broadly accessible introduction to the Christmas nativity story . . . with beautifully illustrated cats!

On a silent winter's night, one star burns brighter than all the rest. "That must be a special star," Mother Cat whispers. When Little Kitten and Mother Cat join the animals journeying toward the starry light, they discover that it is a special star indeed -- shining with peace, love, and joy on this very special night.

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2009-09-01 Hardcover New Hardcover NO Dust Jacket, as issued, Never read, may have minor edge wear otherwise all clean and unmarked, post office daily, NO priority or ... international shipping on this item. Read more Show Less

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Overview


A broadly accessible introduction to the Christmas nativity story . . . with beautifully illustrated cats!

On a silent winter's night, one star burns brighter than all the rest. "That must be a special star," Mother Cat whispers. When Little Kitten and Mother Cat join the animals journeying toward the starry light, they discover that it is a special star indeed -- shining with peace, love, and joy on this very special night.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This tender telling of the Nativity story focuses on a striped tabby cat named Little Kitten, who is first seen curled up next to its orange mother in a barn. After a donkey, lamb, mice and calf stop by en route to a special event, Little Kitten and its mother follow, peering from the roof at a softly glowing stable. All of the animals gather around to witness the baby “sleeping soundly in the sweet, soft hay.” The baby is never explicitly named or seen, but readers will relish Freedman's serene prose and Mendez's light-infused, realistic renderings. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Michele C. Hughes
Little Kitten and Mother Cat are lying in the barn when they notice a bright star that heralds "something amazing." While the Christmas story told from an animal's perspective is certainly nothing new, these cats add a new dimension to the tradition by hosting animal travelers on their way to see the "very special baby." They offer food, rest, and warmth to a donkey, a lamb, three mice, and a cow who are hurrying to the stable. Little Kitten wants to go too but Mother Cat suggests they first climb on the barn roof for a better view. Spotting three men on camelback inspires Mother Cat to hurry down with Little Kitten to get an even closer look. They crowd into the stable to see a baby that made Little Kitten's "heart burst with happiness." The narrative is beautifully written, with lyrical language to show the coolness of the night, the comfort of the barn, and the brightness of the star. But the real star in this book is the illustrations. Luminous images of animals so real they seem like illuminated photographs grace every page. Golden light streams through every page. When the cats first see the baby, their expressions reflect the curious interest of real cats. Page after page, the images depict the comfort and wonder of the story. Reviewer: Michele C. Hughes
School Library Journal
PreS–On a winter’s night, Mother Cat and Little Kitten wonder at all the visitors–a donkey, a lamb, three mice, a calf–who stop by their barn to rest as they follow a bright star. Curious, the cats follow the animals to a stable, where they find “a very special baby.” Although neither the holiday nor the baby is named, most children will recognize the context. There is nothing new or noteworthy in this simple Nativity story, but the glowing, soft-focus photo-realistic illustrations of adorable barnyard animals will appeal to young children.–Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
A group of farm animals is drawn together by an unusually bright star shining over a stable in their neighborhood in this sentimental Nativity story. The narrative focuses on a gray kitten who is tenderly cared for by his mother in their home in a barn. They follow the other animals to the stable under the star, and as a group they enter and stand before the straw-filled manger in the final spread. The kitten describes his great happiness at this special baby, but unfortunately the baby is not shown in the illustration, which may leave readers confused and dissatisfied. Though Mendez's large-format illustrations are appealing and the simple story is accessible to preschoolers, the ending demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the needs of this age group, who need to see to believe. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545104869
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Claire Freedman is the author of the ALIENS LOVE UNDERPANTS series as well as A CUDDLE FOR LITTLE DUCK, MY PRECIOUS LITTLE BEAR, and SNUGGLE UP, LITTLE ONES. She lives on the Essex coast in the U.K. with her husband, Michael. For more information, go to www.clairefreedman.co.uk.

Simon Mendez has studied art and design as well as natural history illustration. Now he paints many subjects, but focuses on portraits of people and animals. He is the illustrator of I LOVE YOU SLEEPYHEAD by Claire Freedman, among other children’s books. Simon lives in London, England, with his family.

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