A musical poem about Jesus' birth works in harmony with perky acrylic-and-watercolor pictures to sound a festive note. Relying on repetition, Nikola-Lisa's (Shake Dem Halloween Bones) words communicate the quiet anticipation and happiness of that holy night in Bethlehem: "Three wise men followed from afar,/ from afar, from afar./ Three wise men followed from afar/ the brightly burning light." Young readers will immediately warm to Weber's (Harp O'Gold) playfully tweaked perspectives, merry angels and cheerful stable-dwellers. Ages 2-6. (Sept.)
PreS-This simple, rhymed retelling of the Nativity story focuses on the wise men, animals, and other visitors who followed the star to the stable. The verses, with their repeating words, have a "Mary had a little lamb" cadence, and are often very awkward-"They came upon a stable low,/stable low, stable low./They came upon a stable low,/where found they blessed He." The ebullient and colorful illustrations are full of child appeal, with kindly wise men and toothy, grinning animals. Not a first purchase.-E. M. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Nikola-Lisa (Summer Sun Risin’, p. 575. etc.) recounts the Nativity story in a simple, repetitive text that can be sung to the tune of "This Is the Way We Wash Our Clothes," and the text actually works better if it’s sung rather than read. Each page has just four lines of text, with the final word on one page rhyming with the final word on the next. A few of these rhymes don’t scan well, especially in two verses ending with "where found they blessed He" and "they gave to him gladly." The text blocks, printed in a typeface suggesting hand lettering, are set off from the full spreads with patterned borders that complement Weber’s (Harp O’ Gold, 2001, etc.) folk-art style paintings. Her appealing illustrations include a huge star over Bethlehem, happy angels, dancing donkeys, and singing shepherds, all in cheery colors that add to the joyful atmosphere of the Nativity scene. Parents could use this with toddlers to introduce the Christmas story, and Sunday school and parochial school teachers in the primary grades will find it a worthwhile addition to the seasonal bookshelf. (Picture book/nonfiction. 2-6)