Author: The source of the text comes from the gospels of Matthew and Luke, as well as Isaiah 9:6, from the King James Version of the Bible.
Illustrators: Fifteenth and sixteenth century artists, Netherlandish and Italian
Recommended for Ages: All Ages
Story: The Bible story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus is accompanied by exquisite artwork from the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The text, from the King James Version of the Bible, includes selections from Isaiah and from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Each double-page spread features full-page art on one page and an excerpt from the Bible, along with a detail from the featured painting, on the facing page.
At the end of the book there is a page of information about all of the artwork in the book. It includes a thumbnail illustration of each painting featured in The Christmas Story, along with information about the title, date and artist, as well as the size of the painting and information about the painting's acquisition by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
According to the Museum, "It is interesting to note that artists of the period often portrayed members of the Holy Family and other important Biblical figures in European dress of the time. This helped make their works of art immediately accessible to contemporary audiences." What about the children of the twenty-first century. How will they respond?
I think contemporary children and their families will enjoy not only the beauty of the paintings but all of their many intriguing details. Those parents who traditionally share the Bible story with their family on Christmas Eve may particularly enjoy using the artwork in The Christmas Story to help explain the meaning of the descriptions from the Bible to the children in the family.
For More Books About the Nativity: See The Birth of Jesus in Children's Books
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers, An Imprint of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.