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This Is the Stable
     

This Is the Stable

4.5 2
by Cynthia Cotten, Delana Bettoli (Illustrator)
 

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A gorgeous, poetic new version of the Nativity story

Wondrous things are happening in this humble little stable. The animals are gathering round. Shepherds and wise men and angels are coming from afar. All of them are flocking to see the Christ child, born this night in Bethlehem.

Illustrated by artist Delana Bettoli in the gorgeous tropical hues of the

Overview

A gorgeous, poetic new version of the Nativity story

Wondrous things are happening in this humble little stable. The animals are gathering round. Shepherds and wise men and angels are coming from afar. All of them are flocking to see the Christ child, born this night in Bethlehem.

Illustrated by artist Delana Bettoli in the gorgeous tropical hues of the region and told in lyrical verses perfect for reading aloud, Cynthia Cotten's This Is a Stable is a retelling of the Nativity that will be treasured for many a Christmas to come.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rhyming couplets retell the Nativity story, introducing a "baby boy, who cooed and cried/ and looked around with eyes so wide" born in "the stable dusty and brown,/ in a quiet corner of Bethlehem town." Bettoli's extensive palette and spiritual imagery capture stars, angels and birds overseeing the happy proceedings from changeable pink, purple and blue evening skies. The artwork's borders and a multicultural cast add visual depth and interest. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
In the familiar rhythm of "This is the house that Jack built," the Christmas story is retold in rhyme that uses the refrain, "the quiet stable, dusty and brown." The illustrations carry out the theme of quiet peace. The manger is shown with a cow, donkey, birds, a rabbit, and mice. Mary in a sari rocks the dark-haired newborn while Joseph holds an oil lamp. Shepherds gather around a bonfire as sheep and a dog sleep. Moths hover over the fire, and antelope feed in the background. Singing angels in gorgeous flowered robes surround the shepherds along with birds. The three wise men are pictured with traditional ethnic traits and ride a camel, a horse, and an elephant. Children will enjoy pointing to the animals while parents will appreciate the peace and tranquility that pervade this lovely retelling of the story.
School Library Journal
PreS-K-This lovely picture book combines beautiful artwork and a seamless, thoughtful "The house that Jack built" style to tell the story of the Nativity. The rhyme is sweet but never forced. Bettoli uses a mixture of pastels, primary colors, and earth tones to create pictures that are bright and imbued with fanciful elements such as winglike clouds and a face in the star of Bethlehem. A sense of place is well established by sand dunes, desert shrubs, and palm trees. The variety of animals and the multiethnic cast of people and angels are all rendered with lifelike energy and expression. A gentle, comforting selection.-Linda Israelson, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
With a gentle, perfectly rhyming text, this cumulative tale presents the Nativity story in a beautifully illustrated version just right for younger children. The patterned text introduces each component of the Nativity scene, always returning to the soothing refrain of "the quiet stable, dusty and brown." The poetic words have the rhythmic, repetitive cadences of a Christmas carol, and in fact, the text can be sung to the traditional English carol, "The Friendly Beasts." Bettoli's mixed-media paintings feature swirling lines, bright flowers and patterned borders. Mary and Joseph clearly come from the Middle East, and the Three Wise Men are of three different ethnicities. Her interpretation includes many birds and the subtle images of feathered wings, with the final spread presenting the angel host gathered over Bethlehem and the edge of the midnight-blue sky flowing off the page like a great bird. Children will be drawn to the appealing cover showing the dusty, brown stable with Mary and Joseph approaching. Against a background of flying birds and feathery wings, the title stands out in huge, shiny red letters, inviting readers inside. (Picture book. 2-8)
From the Publisher

"With a gentle, perfectly rhyming text, this cumulative tale presents the Nativity story in a beautifully illustrated version just right for younger children.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"This lovely picture book combines beautiful artwork and a seamless, thoughtful ‘The house that Jack' built style to tell the story of the Nativity. The rhyme is sweet but never forced. . . . A gentle, comforting selection.” —School Library Journal

“The pace is just right for participatory read-alouds, and Bettoli's attractively patterned, gem-colored paintings amplify the sense of devotion and joy in scenes of winged angels and stars beaming love and light.” —Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805075564
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
10/31/2006
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Cynthia Cotten has written several books for young readers, including Abbie in Stitches, At the Edge of the Woods and Snow Ponies. She grew up in Lockport, New York, a small town on the Erie Canal. She didn't always know she wanted to be a writer—she dreamed of being a teacher, a marine biologist, a U.N. interpreter and a jockey—but she always loved reading. "My idea of the perfect summer vacation," she says, "was to go to the library once a week, check out as many books as I could fit into my bike basket, and spend the rest of the week sitting someplace cool, reading." Cotten lives in Montclair, Virginia.

Delana Bettoli studied art in Boston University and Los Angeles. She lives at the foot of Oregon's Cascade Range.

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This Is the Stable 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RedWingsRock More than 1 year ago
My son and I love this book. The wording is beautiful, rythmic and peaceful. The pictures are just gorgeous. I found the hard cover a few years back and fell in love with it on the spot. This is a wonderful way to share the story of Christ's birth.