Product Details

$17.99  $16.55
Beach Lane Books
Publish Date
8.3 X 12.1 X 0.6 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Cynthia Rylant is the author of more than 100 books for young people, including the beloved Henry and Mudge, Annie and Snowball, Brownie & Pearl, Motor Mouse, and Mr. Putter & Tabby series. Her novel Missing May received the Newbery Medal. She lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon.


In a companion to 2016's Creation, which drew on the book of Genesis, Rylant crafts a spare, graceful rendition of the Nativity, with text adapted from the King James Bible. Following pages that herald Jesus's birth in Bethlehem, Rylant moves beyond the familiar Christmas story to incorporate several of Jesus's teachings from the Sermon on the Mount, known as the beatitudes: "Blessed are the poor, for there is the kingdom of heaven," she writes as a shrouded figure sits beside a battered brick building on a gray night. Humans and animals appear tiny and humble against the vastness of broadly brushed earth and sky in Rylant's naif acylics. The decision to pair the Nativity story with the beatitudes is a wise and profound one, quietly helping Christian readers connect Jesus's birth with the messages of kindness, humility, and compassion he would later preach.--Publishers Weekly *STARRED* "September 4, 2017 "
As she did in the 2016 companion book, Creation, here Rylant distills chapters of the King James Version of the Holy Bible into a gentle and accessible narrative for young readers. It is truly a silent night when the angel of the Lord appears to shepherds as they watch their flock, and the textured but subdued brushstrokes of acrylic paint emphasize the atmosphere's stillness. Even when the multitude fills the night sky, the spare figures of the painted angels in the same white color of the sheep contribute to the soft, ethereal, but majestic tone that remains present in the humble manger where the babe is born. Swiftly but not jarringly, the narrative jumps to Jesus as a grown man, preaching the Sermon on the Mount and closing the book with the beatitudes. Thus, this title is not just about his birth, but also the beginnings of a message that still reaches people today. VERDICT More than appropriate for religious collections, this title adds to Rylant's past works and can be shared beyond Christmas-time.-Joanna Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library--School Library Journal "October 1, 2017 "
Newbery Medalist Rylant offers a succinct, graceful account of the birth of Jesus and some of his most famous words as an adult preaching to others....Rylant's understated illustrations in her refreshing, naïve style sometimes look like finger paintings and often portray just a suggestion of words from the text....This gentle interpretation of the birth of Jesus connected to some of his most important words has its own calm, quiet strength.--Kirkus Reviews "September 2017 "