Christmas season is once again upon us.
Here are some traditional religion-themed children’s books that cover the Christmas story, with no Santa’s or reindeer in sight!
This First Christmas Night – Laura Godwin (Illustrated by William Low)
This little board book is beautifully illustrated and tells the nativity story using simple yet descriptive language. Focusing more on the sights and sounds of the story, the text is both soothing and lyrical, making it the perfect bedtime story for little ones as the festive season approaches.
Rating: 3/5 Published: October 2016
Baby Jesus (Usborne Baby Board Books)- Lesley Sims (Illustrated by Ag Jatkowska)
Another board book that tells the nativity story, this one features cute illustrations and more upbeat text than the above. This book is also much more interesting for younger children, with plenty to look at on each page.
Rating: 4/5 Published: October 2017
The Three Wise Men – Loek Koopmans
This book detours slightly from the usual nativity story, in that it focuses more on the story of the three wise men who travel across the desert, following the star to Jesus’ manger. The astronomer’s (who know everything you could possibly know about the night sky) don’t recognise the star in question, and, after remembering an ancient story, believe that it has appeared because a new king has been born. Full of curiosity, they bid their families farewell, packing for a long journey and bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the new king. They travel for many days and nights until they discover an occupied stable underneath the shining star…
This is a different take on the traditional story, and the use of muted colours in the illustrations make it better suited to a slightly older audience.
Rating: 3/5 Published: September 2014
The Christmas Story (From the Gospels of Matthew and Luke)– The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
This book, while beautifully presented, is probably a little bit too much for most people, including the intended audience. Featuring medieval and Renaissance paintings from the collection of The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, this hardcover book tells the nativity story from beginning to end, but does so using language taken from the King James version of the bible. With so many ‘thee’s’, ‘unto’s’ and ‘ye’s’, the story becomes quite cumbersome to read, and the old-style wording makes reading the story difficult at times. It would probably be best to leave this one for religious adults, or people who appreciate the artworks, rather than children or families.