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Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story

Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story

4.2 6
by Sally Lloyd-Jones, Alison Jay (Illustrator)

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The skies shouted it to the seas that thundered it to the waves that roared it to the great white whales that sang it to the starfish in the deep. And tiny sandpipers danced it on shining sands… “It’s time! It’s time!” On one quiet night, creation whispered a secret. Grass and bees, robins and trees all spread the word. Sheep told


The skies shouted it to the seas that thundered it to the waves that roared it to the great white whales that sang it to the starfish in the deep. And tiny sandpipers danced it on shining sands… “It’s time! It’s time!” On one quiet night, creation whispered a secret. Grass and bees, robins and trees all spread the word. Sheep told their young while angels sang the song to the shepherds. Hushed news of a miracle echoed to the ends of the earth. The moment had come. The long-awaited child had arrived! Creation cried out in celebration, but only a few people heard. Only a few joined nature’s chorus, a song in praise of the newborn King.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lloyd-Jones (How to Get a Job... by Me, the Boss) refreshes the Nativity story by placing it in the context of the animal kingdom, and not just the familiar sheep and cows at the stable. White whales sing, salmon leap, every single blade of grass around the world “squeak and hum” the news of the coming of “the One who made us.” Jay (I Took the Moon for a Walk) offers spread after spread of animals in motion, as they make a beeline for the manger, where they form a protective circle of snouts, noses, bills, and beaks around the baby. Jay’s paintings have her characteristic craquelure finish, adding an antique element to this fresh, circle-of-life take on the Christmas story. Ages 4–up. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews

A wide variety of animals from diverse environments feels the excitement of the impending event in Bethlehem, and many of them hurry along, crowding around the manger to welcome Baby Jesus.

The poetic text focuses on the mysterious, powerful forces that created a feeling of anticipation in the natural world at the time of the first Christmas. Animals, flowers, the wind, the skies and the sea all know that something miraculous is about to happen. The brief story effectively emphasizes the excitement of the animals and the involvement of all the natural forces in the important event. However, from a theological viewpoint, some of the text surrounding the birth of Jesus is beyond the developmental level of the intended audience. ("The One who made us has come to live with us!") Large-format illustrations in Jay's striking, signature style are presented in alternating formats across two-page spreads, in half circles, rectangles and ovals, effectively varying the presentation. Her paintings use a crackled overglaze that impart a folk-art look, along with slightly exaggerated proportions and flattened perspective.

The emotion-filled text conveys the excitement and wonder of the Nativity story, but Jay's stunning illustrations are the volume's best feature.(Picture book/religion. 3-6)

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—A subtle, yet satisfying story about the impending arrival of the newborn King. Creatures great and small respond to a whisper of a "song" heard around the world and eagerly spread the news. "It's time! It's time! Get ready! Be glad!" Lloyd-Jones's lyrical language ("the leaves, that night, rustled with a rumor") and repetitive refrains make the text suitable for reading aloud. Jay's signature-style, crackle-varnish paintings are bright and effective in conveying a sense of eager anticipation and movement among the animals. Every scene includes an increasing glow in the sky, ultimately culminating in a single bright star whose light shines down on Heaven's Son. A charming addition to most collections.—Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library

Product Details

Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.60(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
'I love Sally Lloyd-Jones's books. I can't wait to read it to my granddaughter.' -- Kathy Keller

'The Psalms tell us that the created order now declares the glory of God (Psalms 19 and 65) and that when Jesus returns even the trees will sing for joy (Psalm 96). How fitting, then, to imagine the animals and stars sensing and rejoicing in the coming of Christ the first time. This is a lovely book!' -- Tim Keller, Pastor

Meet the Author

Sally Lloyd-Jones is a leading writer of inspirational books for children. She is the author of three bestselling children’s Bibles, including the Moonbeam Award winner and ALA notable The Jesus Storybook Bible, as well as Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, winner of the ECPA Inspirational Book award. She has written many picture books for children, such as the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller How to Be a Baby: By Me, the Big Sister and Song of the Stars. Sally was born and raised in Africa, was schooled in England, and now lives in New York City. She can be found at http://www.sallylloyd-jones.com.

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Song of the Stars 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my all time favorite Christmas story. My 4 year old granddaughter loves it, and I am easily able to help her transfer her excitement about receiving presents on Christmas Day to the same excitement for the birth of Jesus that is built by God's creation through the beautiful illustrations and story text. Such a simple story with such profound meaning.
StevieJSP More than 1 year ago
I would not recommend the ebook version of this story. The story is wonderful but the picture illustrations are very small and an inconvenience to enlarge and to keep the attention of the child at the same time.
LivingaFitandFulllife More than 1 year ago
Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones is a wonderful book! Song of the Stars is about the coming of Jesus and how all the animals and every creation awaits his arrival with anticipation and celebration upon his birth. I love how Sally Lloyd-Jones takes Jesus' arrival one step further and helps us to imagine how deeply creation longed for a savior. The illustrations are beautiful and portray the words on the page perfectly. This is a wonderful book to read to children and my children absolutely loved this book! Disclosure: I received product(s) for free, in exchange for my honest review. I only recommend products I've used personally, and believe will be good fit for consumers.
michelemorin More than 1 year ago
Sure, the angels told the shepherds that Jesus had been born, but when John said, “We beheld His glory,” it would seem that there’s an implicit invitation to use our imaginations a bit, and Sally Lloyd-Jones has accepted that invitation! Song of the Stars pictures the occasion of Jesus’ birth as an evening of breathless anticipation and enthusiastic sharing of the news: “It’s time! It’s time!” Everyone from barn owls to great white whales and “every single blade of grass” makes the announcement, causing me to think, “Yes, this is what the earnest expectation of the creation would really look like — if only we took time to notice.” It’s difficult to say who will be more enthralled with Alison Jay’s “cracked oil” illustrations — tiny lovers of board books or their folk art loving parents. With pointy-headed bears sniffing the air and primitive, squared-off sheep nuzzling their lambs with dreams of The Good Shepherd, Song of the Stars is a delight for the eyes as well as for the heart. The suspense builds with each turn of the page until its resolution in a little shed as the animals gather around the manger and hear the pronouncement: “The One who made us has come to live with us!” Now, there’s enough theology to fill a much larger volume and to overflow into a warm celebration of Advent for any family who is watching the calendar, crossing off the days, and waiting in breathless anticipation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. This book was provided by ZonderKidz, a trademark of Zondervan, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
caeb19 More than 1 year ago
Before we had our son, I read many blog posts and did lots of research about the best buys for babies. One of the things I investigated was the best children's Bible, and overwhelmingly I found people recommended The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. That was the one we ended up getting, and I have been happy with it. So when I saw that Sally Lloyd-Jones had also written a Christmas book and it became available in a board book format, I was eager to check it out. Song of the Stars is the story of how all of creation spreads the new and celebrates Jesus' birth. From the skies to the seas, the animals sing out in expectation of the newborn King. The illustrations are painting by Alison Jay, and they offer a unique look and nice complement to the text. Since my son is only two, I found the overall text to be a bit wordy and unfamiliar for him, but he did enjoy looking at the pictures and pointing out the animals on each page. I think it will be a good Christmas book to read with him in a few years when his understanding of the Christmas story and his language skills grow. In the meantime, I appreciate the sturdy board book format so he can turn the pages and interact with the book without fear of pages ripping, etc. If you enjoy author Sally Lloyd-Jones, you will want to add this book to your collection. She has such a beautiful way of bringing it all back to Jesus and reminding us how everything around us whispers his name, and this book is no different. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
Since it was first released, Song of the Stars, has been a favorite in our family. We all adore the beautiful illustrations of the creation and creatures as they listen to God and the angels declare that "It's time!".  I especially like how the anticipation builds and builds as the story goes along. I find myself reading it aloud softly at first and then as the big event gets closer and closer my voice rises in volume and intensity. When I look around at our family we all seem to be leaning in towards the story as if helping the event along. If you are looking for a new Christmas book for your little ones this year, I can't recommend this one highly enough. It truly is destined to become a Christmas classic. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.