On a winter night long ago, a baby boy was born in a stable with only the animals to witness his arrival. But it wasn’t just the cows and donkeys and soft little lambs who were present. Smaller, less loved creatures were there, too: the snake, the scorpion, the cockroach, and others.
Lyrically written by Eve Bunting and luminously illustrated by Wendell Minor, this beautiful book offers a unique and moving perspective on the Christmas story. It reminds us that all God’s creatures, both great and small, celebrated the arrival of the Christ child.
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Eve Bunting has written over two hundred books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz, The Wall, Fly Away Home, and Train to Somewhere. She lives in Southern California.From School Library Journal:
Gr 1-3-Nativity stories often mention the ox and lamb as humble visitors to the holy stable where Jesus was born. Here Bunting shares the view of seven other creatures that were also witnesses on that special night. Snake, toad, scorpion, cockroach, bat, spider, and rat all offer a brief poem, always ending with the refrain, "I will be there." Minor's gouache-and-watercolor illustrations feature zoomed-in views of each narrator and occasional double-page spreads from one animal's perspective (snake on a vast expanse of sand, rat nestled in the straw). The last line sums up, "No one will look/beyond the light/to darkness/and the corner where we watch,/unwatched./They will not know/or care./But we were there." Libraries with active Christmas collections will want to add this title for its unique perspective. The poetry may inspire youngsters to create verses of their own for other "less loved" creatures.-G. C.BYRD, Donald & Susan Kuklin. The Harlem Nutcracker. photos. by Susan Kuklin. unpaged. CIP. Hyperion/Jump at the Sun. 2001. Tr $19.99. ISBN 0-7868-0633-8. LC 00-46172. Gr 1-3-In Byrd's "inversion of the traditional Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffmann.-The music is Ellington, not Tchaikovsky. The choreography is jazz dancing, not classical ballet." The beautifully designed book captures the stage production featuring an African-American grandmother named Clara and her family at her Sugar Hill mansion in Harlem on Christmas Eve. Her husband Gus, who has recently passed away, magically appears and presents her with a nutcracker, before vanishing. The family gathering presents conflict, drama, happiness, and love and, in the end, the nutcracker is passed to a new generation and Clara joins her beloved Gus in death. Readers can enjoy the story, whether they are actually reading the text or simply looking at the lavish, powerful photographs of onstage action-but perhaps because of this live-action quality, some of the shots are not quite as crisp as others. This fresh reinterpretation of the holiday classic will hold a special appeal for young people familiar with the original and for budding performers.-L. F.
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Book Description Clarion Books, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0395822653
Book Description Clarion Books, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110395822653
Book Description Clarion Books, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # VIB0395822653