Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale
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Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale

4.8 19
by Martin Waddell, Jason Cockcroft

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That cold winter's night,
beneath the star's light...
...a Little One came for the world.


That cold winter's night,
beneath the star's light...
...a Little One came for the world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Room for a Little One, by Martin Waddell, illus. by Jason Cockcroft, now appears in a paper-over-board volume. In a starred review of the original 2004 version, PW wrote, "Luminous, realistic paintings light the way through this hushed and graceful Nativity story." Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The cover scene adds two new animals to the traditional Christmas nativity scene — a dog and a cat, and yes even a tiny mouse. All are the little ones who gradually find room in the Kind Ox's stable. As each animal arrives, the next larger animal — and usually the predator of the smaller animal — invites the little one to enter. Dog, cat, mouse and ox are curled up warmly next to each other when Mary and Joseph arrive with the baby Jesus. "Come inside," Kind Ox called to Tired Donkey. "There's always room for a little one here." It is the essence of the Christmas story — welcoming the unaccepted, befriending the enemy — in a simple story that the youngest child can understand. The illustrations have a soft, ethereal quality on this snowy night and the animals look so real you think the dog's nose must be wet and that must be a purr you hear behind the huge glassy eyes of the cat. Just before the holy family arrives, all the animals are sound asleep with the mouse barely more than a dot in the hay and the huge ox keeping a sleepy eye just barely open to watch over everyone else. It is a perfect bedtime story for the holidays. 2004, Margaret K. McElderry/Simon & Schuster, Ages 3 to 8.
—Karen Leggett
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
The luminous quality of the acrylic paintings in this sweetly simple story of the nativity is typical of Cockcroft's work and well suited to the text with its placid, loving animals who welcome the Christ Child to their stable. Prolific Irish author Waddell (who has written for children of all ages and is the 2004 winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Medal) begins with large white Kind Ox inviting Old Dog to share the warmth of his straw: "There's always room for a little one here." Dog invites Stray Cat, who, in turn, brings in Small Mouse, all lit by an unknown source of light. When Mary and Joseph appear, they too, are welcomed, and Jesus is born surrounded by the animals, including Tired Donkey, who carried Mary. Now the light is dazzling, illuminating the stable and shining forth into the night. The last pages, like the first, show the glowing Christmas star high in the blue, star-speckled sky. Two award-winning artists have combined their talents to create a Christmas tale for the youngest listeners and viewers, combining the essence of the nativity story ("That cold winter's night, beneath the star's light . . . . a little One came for the world") with the comforting presence of warm, furry animals and the magic of the starry night.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-On a cold winter night, Kind Ox invites one visitor after another into the shelter of his stable-Old Dog, Stray Cat, and Small Mouse, who rest together in harmony. When Tired Donkey appears, he brings with him Mary and Joseph, and all of the animals welcome Jesus when He is born. The slightly fuzzy yet realistic acrylic paintings are dappled with multicolored blurry dots that add a touch of magic to the scene, although young children may simply assume that it's snowing. The very short and simple text, the catchy refrain, and the lovely illustrations make this title a fine choice for young listeners.-E. M. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The old concept that all the animals were welcomed with kindness into the stable in Bethlehem is the theme of this evocative exploration of the Nativity story. Kind Ox is the original inhabitant of the stable, and one by one, he invites Old Dog, Stray Cat, and Small Mouse inside with the reassuring refrain, "There's always room for a little one here." Tired Donkey, Mary, and Joseph are also welcomed into the warmth of the stable, and all the animals watch as a new little one is born into their midst. Softly luminous illustrations suggest a foggy Christmas Eve and a quiet atmosphere of anticipation. Widely varying perspectives add to the dramatic tension, as each spread is different in perspective: the dog is silhouetted in the stable door; the cat is seen from the mouse's view; all the animals around the manger are seen from above. The poetic patterned text with just a few, well-chosen lines is quietly powerful and will be accessible to little ones just learning about the Christmas story. (Picture book. 2-7)

Product Details

Little Simon
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.02(w) x 6.14(h) x 0.95(d)
Age Range:
2 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Martin Waddell is the award-winning author of many books for children, including Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? and the other Little Bear books, illustrated by Barbara Firth, Farmer Duck, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, and Owl Babies, illustrated by Patrick Benson. He lives in Northern Ireland.

Jason Cockcroft won the first ever Blue Peter Award in England for his illustrations in John Bunyan's A Pilgrim's Progress, retold by Geraldine McCaughrean. He illustrated Daddy's Lullaby by Tony Bradman, which was selected as one of the Best Books for Babies by the Beginning with Books® Center for Early Literacy. He lives in North Yorkshire, England.

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Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This little board book is very sweet. All through the story, the theme is that there's always room for a "little one." It's a message I always tried to share with my children, and I loved giving this book to my grandson. We all need to hear that we matter to someone, and I think little people need to hear it more often.
Tristans_Momma More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book, beautifully inspiring and heartwarming. After each read, our son is very interested in discussing the characters, their choices and their circumstances. Our son loves to read it over and over and over even now that the Christmas season has passed. A wonderful addition for any mom or dad looking to impart some meaning into their two year old literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago

About two thousand years ago, in the town of Nazareth, a miracle occurred. There were Shepherds, the Angels and, on Epiphany, the Wise Men.
In author Martin Waddell¿s version: This particular winter night is cold, and Kind Ox lies in his stable sheltered from the harsh bitter airs. He is snuggled in the warmth of his straw bed until Old Dog comes along in search of shelter and a warm place to rest his weary bones. Kind Ox invites him in. Not long after do more travelers arrive, also in need of shelter. Stray Cat, and Small Mouse, to be precise.
Then Tired Donkey arrives, leading Joseph along, as he carries Mary on his back. Mary is very tired and needed a place to stay. At each inn, the story was the same. There was no room for them.
¿Where will my baby be born?¿ Mary asked.
Kind Ox invited Tired Donkey in. Mary gives birth to Jesus with the animals around them.
Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale, is not only simply written and easy to understand, but is also exquisitely illustrated. This is a book your child will read everyday of the year!
Reviewed by Betsie
Linner More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books. A sweet story and beautiful illustrations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My father bought this book for my daughter's first Christmas. We've been reading it for almost 3 years. The story is well written. My daughter really enjoys this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a touching telling of the Christmas story through the eyes of the animals. The tone of the story and the soft illustrations add to the promise of peace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Here is another wonderful Christmas book retelling the Christmas story. Wonderful illustrations and great for little hands!
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GrannyCH More than 1 year ago
Lovely illustrations which my grandchildren loved and a simple story about the birth of Jesus. It it a story of love and caring for each other as the animals welcome each new addition into the stable. It is a great addition to our library of Christmas books.
TNflowergirl More than 1 year ago
The cover picture is just one clue to the format of this wonderful children's story. Once you open and begin looking at the full-page color artistry, you are easily drawn to the simple, yet beautifully written story. Young readers' eyes will give all of their attention to this book. My two-year old great-nephew, as well as his five-year old sister were captivated from the moment I opened to the title page. They wanted to go back several times to talk about the pictures. If you enjoy sharing beautiful, meaningful, understandable picture books with young ones, you need to add this book to their library!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully illustrated story, that is perfect for young children. This is a must have book for Christmas!