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The Story of Christmas

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Overview

Pamela Dalton's exquisite, intricate scissor-cut illustrations wonderfully illuminate The Story of Christmas. Deeply reverent, richly detailed, and teeming with life, Dalton's images follow the story of the Nativity from the appearance of the Angel, to the shepherds who came from the fields, and to the three wise men who followed the star to pay respect for their new king. Working in a Pennsylvania-German folk-art tradition, rich with lovingly rendered animals and figures, Pamela Dalton has created a book that ...

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The Story of Christmas

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Overview

Pamela Dalton's exquisite, intricate scissor-cut illustrations wonderfully illuminate The Story of Christmas. Deeply reverent, richly detailed, and teeming with life, Dalton's images follow the story of the Nativity from the appearance of the Angel, to the shepherds who came from the fields, and to the three wise men who followed the star to pay respect for their new king. Working in a Pennsylvania-German folk-art tradition, rich with lovingly rendered animals and figures, Pamela Dalton has created a book that takes a deserved place among the finest celebrations of Christmas.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Delicate paper-cut illustrations provide a lovely, solemn backdrop to the King James Bible's account of the Nativity story. Strongly influenced by Renaissance artwork, Dalton's illustrations are very much in keeping with her work in her first children's book Katherine Paterson's Brother Sun, Sister Moon. As shepherds, wise men, and angels gather to honor the birth of Jesus, Dalton sets her tableaus against black backgrounds, which both focus attention on the story's major players and make logical sense given the nocturnal setting of much of the story's events. The iconic nature of Dalton's scenes is ideally suited to the traditional Biblical translation used. Ages 4–8. Dec.
From the Publisher
"The Nativity story from the King James Bible serves as the text for this engaging interpretation done in exquisite cut-paper-and-watercolor illustrations that stand out against dramatic, black backgrounds." - Kirkus Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

The Nativity story from the King James Bible serves as the text for this engaging interpretation done in exquisite cut-paper–and-watercolor illustrations that stand out against dramatic, black backgrounds.

Dalton's intricate illustrations are cut from paper and then hand-colored to fill in textures and details. Many of the illustrations employ mirror images at each side as in traditional paper-cutting art, with a single focal element showcased in the center. Other formats vary the perspective, including a dramatic overhead view of Baby Jesus in the manger full of hay and a complex procession of multiple characters in panels outlined in organic tree-limb shapes, illustrating the Flight into Egypt. Many of the compositions consciously echo medieval illuminations. Traditional symbols for Mary (roses, lilies and rose of Sharon) are worked into the illustrations, and roses decorate the endpapers as well. Though the overall look of the cut-paper illustrations is dramatic, the faces of the people tend to look sad or disengaged throughout the story, especially in the Christmas Eve scene in the stable. Another issue is the apparent advanced age of Joseph, who is bald and has a white beard, in comparison to the youthful Mary. Though this disparity has historical roots in apocryphal literature and early Christian art, it may feel odd to modern children.

The downcast faces of the people and angels and the old-fashioned language of the traditional text serve to distance readers. The "good tidings of great joy" are missing from this otherwise visually stunning work. (Picture book/religion. 4-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452104706
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 11/2/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 225,133
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Most beautiful pictures!

    I bought this for future grandchildcn but really for me as the artwork is amazing. It is all cut from paper and is intricate and beautiful. The story is straight from the Bible and is the perfect coffee table or guest room book for Christmas. I'll buy some for gifts next year.

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