Nassief's brilliantly colored, iconic illustrations, combined with Macdonald's rhythmic verse, make up for a winning new retelling of the Christmas story. Zeke, Joseph's trusty donkey, narrates, a device sure to draw in young readers and listeners. The story includes the Annunciation to Mary, Joseph's initial anger and confusion and his subsequent acceptance, their trip to Bethlehem for the census, their difficulty in finding lodging, and finally the Christ-child's birth, the visit of the shepherds and the heavenly choir. Canetti's Spanish poem is remarkably musical and closely rhymed for a translation, and children will enjoy hearing it read aloud. Two short essays (mostly of interest to parents and teachers) follow the main text. The first explains the tradition of the Coptic icons that inspired the illustrations, while the second explains the long process by which the book came to be. The first essay contains a couple of dating errors, as it refers to the founding of Alexandria, Egypt, in the third century BCE (rather than in the fourth), and to the Hellenistic period of the third century CE (whereas the Hellenistic period ended in the first century BCE when the Romans conquered Egypt). These errors do not detract from the central appeal of this book, which is in large part a lovely pairing of text and art. Recommended for all libraries and bookstores.-Coop Renner, formerly from El Paso Independent School District, TXCopyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.