Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Monday, November 25, 2013

The First Christmas Night - A Review

                                                  The First Christmas Night
                                                  Written by: Keith Christopher
                                                   Illustrated by: Christine Kornacki
                                                   Publisher: Ideals Books
                                                   Hardcover: 32 Pages
                                                   Ages: 4-8 yrs.

About the book:
The First Christmas Night is a beautiful retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem so long ago. The poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and winds through Christ's birth, the angels' appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the Wise Men. The simple yet elegant verses will appeal to little ones and are accompanied by the rich acrylic illustrations.

'Twas the very first Christmas when all through the town
not a creature was stirring-there was not a sound.
The moon shining bright in the heavens so high
gave the look of midday to the Bethlehem sky.
The animals were nestled in warm, cozy places
with looks of contentment on each of their faces.

About the author:
Keith Christopher is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and educator, and he has served as editor and producer for several major music publishers. In addition to writing and studio producing, Keith served on the faculty at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with his wife and two children.

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It's always a wonderful treat to receive a book in the mail to review, and then discover that it's a hardcover! The First Christmas Night is a lovely, richly illustrated children's book that is a perfect read now that we're on the cusp of the Christmas season. I was struck by the beautiful blue's that are used in many of the illustrations. The color is all the more dramatic as it is naturally, portrayed at night. Illustrator Christine Kornacki paints a striking contrast of the light in the stable against the dark night. The tiniest of detail is intricately done, yet the portraits as a whole have a softness to them. It's easy to forget that you're looking at drawings, and not actual photos. What an amazing talent.

The story is in poem form, actually modeled after "Twas the Night Before Christmas". The text on each page is short, a paragraph per page. It takes the reader through Mary and Joseph's journey into Bethlehem, the angels visiting the shepherds, the birth of Jesus, and the Wise Men's visit.

We used this as a fun family read aloud, although my 8 year old took a quick preview, as she simply could not wait for everyone to gather. She figured that she could give me her personal opinion of the story for the purpose of my review ;) Her words (mostly).
The book is perfect for this, and what is really great about this book, is that the length of the story fits a squirmy toddler's attention span in a most delightful way. It's just enough to keep her interested, and, paired with those gorgeous pictures, make for an enjoyable, and meaningful, family read that spans a wide range of ages.
The last page of the book is the biblical story of Christmas, right from Scripture, and is, in my opinion, a nice way to finish.

We highly recommend this title, which can become a new and special part of your family's Christmas celebration for years to come. Really, get a copy!

Wouldn't this be a perfect gift for Christmas this year? How would you like to get a copy of this book for your child just in time for the holidays? Simply follow me here, leave me a comment with your email address (so I can contact you if you are selected), and please share this giveaway :) This giveaway begins Monday, November 25, 2013, through Friday, November 29, 2013.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hopes that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe would be good for my readers. 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."

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great read for my children:)