The Friendly Beasts: an old English Christmas carol


“Jesus our brother kind and good
Was humbly born in a stable rude
And the friendly beasts around him stood
Jesus our brother, kind and good”

Join a cow, a camel, a dove, a donkey, and a sheep as they explain what gifts they brought the son of God on the very first Christmas. The Friendly Beasts offers a new way to look at the birth of Jesus through beautiful, memorable ...

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“Jesus our brother kind and good
Was humbly born in a stable rude
And the friendly beasts around him stood
Jesus our brother, kind and good”

Join a cow, a camel, a dove, a donkey, and a sheep as they explain what gifts they brought the son of God on the very first Christmas. The Friendly Beasts offers a new way to look at the birth of Jesus through beautiful, memorable illustrations, traditional holiday lyrics, and a CD with narration and music performed by Rebecca St. James.

The animals at the stable where Christ was born relate their gifts, in the words of an English carol. Includes music.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Vojtech (The Story of the Easter Robin) illustrates a classic carol about the nativity seen from the animals’ point of view. Each page contains one or two lines of the song and a full-page illustration in gorgeous purples, blues, and dusty reds, all suffused with golden light suggestive of divinity. Sheet music for the carol accompanies the book, as well as a CD performed by Grammy-winning Christian pop singer Rebecca St. James; its four tracks include both sung and narrated versions of the carol. Children will enjoy Vojtech’s charming pictures while listening to the CD. Ages 4–up. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A cow, a camel, a donkey, a dove, and a sheep eagerly share their part in the Nativity story in this picture-book version of the traditional English carol. Watercolor-and-ink illustrations are highlighted by close-up views of proudly smiling animal faces that break out of the frames and seem to speak directly to viewers. The cover is embellished with enough greenish glitter to attract young audiences. A CD with narration and a musical performance by Christian recording artist Rebecca St. James is part of the package. This title could definitely find a place in Christmas programs.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
The familiar, old English carol using the voices of the animals approaching the Nativity scene serves as the text in this attractively illustrated, large-format version. Each of the animals contributes something, from the donkey who carried Mary to Bethlehem to the cow who gave up manger and hay to the sheep who provided wool for a blanket for the Christ Child. The dove who cooed the baby to sleep is a recurrent connecting device, appearing in the stable window on several pages and in flight on the endpapers, which show a contemporary scene of a snowy village with carolers surrounding a glowing Christmas tree. The illustrations convey accurate details in settings and costumes as well as amusing expressions on the faces of the friendly animals, but the cover design is diminished by an unnecessary coating of silvery-blue glitter on the animals. A large trim size provides illustrations large enough for use with a group, and the musical notation is provided along with a CD with spoken and sung versions of the text. As the only large-format edition of this carol currently in print, it will be a useful purchase for use with children at Christmas sing-alongs or church programs as well as at home. (Picture book/religion. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310720126
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz
  • Publication date: 9/25/2012
  • Pages: 29
  • Sales rank: 404,910
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Rebecca St. James, an Australian born Christian recording artist, is both a Grammy Award winner and multiple Dove Award recipient. She is also the bestselling author of Wait for Me, SHE Teen, and What Is He Thinking. She has appeared in the film Sarah’s Choice and provided a voice in Veggie Tales An Easter Story.

Anna Vojtech has illustrated numerous books for children, including folktales and stories about nature. Anna was raised in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) - a magical place for a young girl to grow up. Since 1982 she has lived on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, with her husband and their two sons.

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