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One Starry Night

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Overview

One starry night, a cow watches over her calf, a nanny goat watches over her kid, and a pig watches over her piglet. For this one moment, every family in the animal kingdom is peaceful, just like Mary and Joseph watching over their own newborn nearby.

This simple yet profound book perfectly captures the universal nighttime vigil of parents everywhere while gently alluding to the presence of a nurturing creator who watches over all. Lauren Thompson is at her lyrical best, while ...

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Overview

One starry night, a cow watches over her calf, a nanny goat watches over her kid, and a pig watches over her piglet. For this one moment, every family in the animal kingdom is peaceful, just like Mary and Joseph watching over their own newborn nearby.

This simple yet profound book perfectly captures the universal nighttime vigil of parents everywhere while gently alluding to the presence of a nurturing creator who watches over all. Lauren Thompson is at her lyrical best, while Jonathan Bean's gorgeous, artisanal illustrations are the perfect match for this beautifully serene story of a truly Peaceable Kingdom.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Under a starry slate-blue sky, mother animals watch their children in this outing from the team that created The Apple Pie That Papa Baked. Italicized text forms a separate rhyming stream of loving maternal commentary (“I am here/ always near”) as the main text describes scenes of loving mother-child companionship, culminating with Joseph, Mary, and their newborn, with animal pairs gathered round. Per an author’s note, the featured animals could all be found in the Holy Land at the time of Jesus’ birth. Thompson focuses on the Nativity theme of love; Bean also keeps it simple with a limited palette of earth tones. The book is more universalist than Christian, which should allow it a broad readership. Ages 1–6. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
* “This arresting story of the first Christmas has a succinct, powerful, rhyming text and striking illustrations unlike any other version of the Nativity story, with art and words perfectly matched in an artistic tour de force. This unforgettable interpretation stands out as a bright, multifaceted star in the crowded constellation of Christmas Eve stories.” –Kirkus reviews (starred)

* “This tender, poetic retelling of the age-old story takes the form of a whispered prayer as it highlights the nurturing given to babies of many species. The art and the words strike just the right tone of reverence and delight. A lovely offering.”—School Library Journal (starred)

"In Thompson’s poetic, reverent text, two voices tell of the night Jesus was born. This peaceful ode to parental love is just right for bedtime reading. Bean’s digitally colored pencil illustrations portray the calm nighttime scenes in black, beige, dark gray-blue, and a sprinkling of white. The gentle words are beautifully matched by the strikingly composed art; both are infused with meaning and are powerful in their simplicity."—The Horn Book

Children's Literature - Cathi I. White
The starry night is a very special one. All the animals know something wonderful is happening and are making an effort to attend this extraordinary event. As they travel, each mother is watching carefully over her baby: the mother sheep over her lamb, the cow and her calf, and the goat and her kid, the pig and her piglet are all quickly moving through the star filled night. Each mother is very near her baby: the cat and kitten, the dog and pup, the donkey and foal, the dove and doveling. Readers will be delighted to see where the animals are going: to see the baby Jesus. This delightful story about mother's love is beautifully illustrated by the detailed pictures. Children will see how much the mother animals love their babies, just like Jesus' mother loved him. The author's way of expressing a mother's love is very well done. Children will want to read the book and see the pictures over and over again. Reviewer: Cathi I. White
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 4—Animal parents look after their offspring as they watch over Mary and Joseph caring for baby Jesus. The animals, rendered in pencil with soft digital coloring, are the wild creatures that would have lived in the Holy Land at the time of the Nativity—wild boars and oxen, jackals, and cheetahs—not their domestic counterparts. This tender, poetic retelling of the age-old story takes the form of a whispered prayer as it highlights the nurturing given to babies of many species. The art and the words strike just the right tone of reverence and delight. A lovely offering.—Virginia Walter, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
Kirkus Reviews

This arresting story of the first Christmas has a succinct, powerful, rhyming text and striking illustrations unlike any other version of the Nativity story, with art and words perfectly matched in an artistic tour de force.

At first glance, the story seems extremely short, even simplistic, and the illustrations washed out, lacking color or life. Look deeper. The gentle, soothing text is related in two voices, one describing mother-and-child pairs of animals, the second offering comforting words in the voice of the mother. The mother's words are a beautiful rhyming poem, the thoughts of a caring parent that can also be interpreted as the voice of God speaking to his children. The mother-and-child pairs move slowly through the dark night, illustrated in minimalist shapes in a desert-night palette of tan, gray, gray-blue and black. The animal pairs gather around Mary and Joseph and their newborn in a tableau of simple shapes against a huge tree, with the merest hint of a shelter and manger. Look deeper again. Both the muted illustrations using simple shapes and a flattened perspective and the simplified text from two viewpoints indicate the influence of cubism, a different way of looking at a complex subject.

This unforgettable interpretation stands out as a bright, multifaceted star in the crowded constellation of Christmas Eve stories.(Picture book/religion. 4-8)

Pamela Paul
Bean's atmospheric illustrations, in earthy tones of black, taupe and slate blue, give this quiet tale of maternal devotion a distinctive and appropriately lovely look.
—The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689828515
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 811,235
  • Age range: 1 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Lauren Thompson is the author of several picture books, including the popular Mouse’s First series, Little Quack series, and the Wee Little series. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed The Apple Pie That Papa Baked as well as Leap Back Home to Me; Chew, Chew, Gulp!; and Hop, Hop, Jump! She lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Move to icechips

    Im locked out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Boring

    Boring. Returning it. Too expensive too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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