Our Very Own Christmas Story

Our Very Own Christmas Story

by Annette Langen, Marije Tolman
     
 

A brother and sister joyfully re-enact the events of Christmas in this sweetly illustrated picture book. With flashlights and their imaginations in hand, the siblings make their way from the walls of their house to the snowy fields of Bethlehem. With big sister whispering the words to her younger brother, the young actors take little listeners along on their

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Overview

A brother and sister joyfully re-enact the events of Christmas in this sweetly illustrated picture book. With flashlights and their imaginations in hand, the siblings make their way from the walls of their house to the snowy fields of Bethlehem. With big sister whispering the words to her younger brother, the young actors take little listeners along on their adventure celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a refreshingly modest Christmas story first published in Switzerland, two children take an imaginative journey across a snowy landscape to re-enact the story of baby Jesus. Traveling with a sheep and sled piled up with wood, the impish boy and girl seek shelter behind makeshift doors in the snow: “ ‘Knock on the next door!’ says Mary.” Their sled, rested atop the wood, finally serves as the stable where Jesus (a bunny) is born, and a star fills the sky with rosy light. The transitions between the present and conditional tenses can be awkward (“And little Joseph nods. ‘Let’s go, Kelly,’ he says. ‘But I would be Mary!’ Kelly says firmly”), but Tolman’s diminutive figures communicate the spirit of the holiday with ease. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Tolman places her delicate miniature figures in vast, sweeping landscapes on the border between magic and reality, with imagined sheep and lambs and a fox and bunnies gathering and parading alongside the very real figures of Kelly and Franklin...The best stories are told repeatedly." New York Times Book Review
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Kelly and her little brother pretend to be Mary and Joseph, journeying to Bethlehem, looking for shelter, welcoming baby Jesus, and thanking the three kings for their gifts. The touching illustrations show the small children wandering through an impressionistic, snowy landscape populated with sheep, bunnies, and other animals, using a sleigh filled with pieces of wood as props in their game. The text is a bit awkward, possibly because of the translation-veering from present tense to the conditional and back again, and sounds stilted in places. Well-meaning but not essential.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
An adventurous little girl and her younger brother act out the Nativity story with friendly animals in a snow-covered, mysterious land in this intriguing story originally published in Switzerland. The girl, Kelly, and her brother, Franklin, set out from home with a sleigh full of wood pieces, pulled by a sheep. As Kelly and Franklin pretend they are Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem, they move into a strange, snowy world with more animals gradually joining in as the story unfolds. The sleigh and wood magically transform into a stable, and the part of Baby Jesus is played by a white rabbit. Three adults in furry robes arrive at the stable, and though the trio is greeted as the Three Kings, they might also be Father Christmas and the children's parents. They all leave together by sled and sleigh, heading for a brightly lit farm in the distance. The family's home? The North Pole? Much in this story is open to interpretation, which will delight some young readers and confuse others. Watercolor and ink illustrations add to the mysterious atmosphere with tiny figures set against vast backgrounds of snow or skies glowing with special starlight. With elements of magical realism, this story offers a creative, challenging exploration of a Christmas journey. (Picture book. 4-6)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780735840881
Publisher:
North-South Books, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2012
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"Soft pastel spreads allow readers to see all the activity in and around the tree and the changing background colors." School Library Journal review for The Tree House, illustrated by Marije Tollman

"A refreshingly modest Christmas story...Tolman’s diminutive figures communicate the spirit of the holiday with ease."- Publishers Weekly review of Our Very Own Christmas

"Tolman places her delicate miniature figures in vast, sweeping landscapes on the border between magic and reality, with imagined sheep and lambs and a fox and bunnies gathering and parading alongside the very real figures of Kelly and Franklin...The best stories are told repeatedly." New York Times Book Review

Meet the Author

Annette Langen was brought up in a booksellers’ family. Books have always fascinated her and she decided after many years of work and travel to become a children’s book author. Her first book was published in 1989. Many of her books are ‘family tested’ with the help of her two children.

Marije Tolman studied illustration and graphic design at the Royal Academy for Visual Arts and at the Edinburgh Class for Art in Scotland. She works full-time as a children's book illustrator in the Netherlands.

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