By: Norma Lewis
Illustrated by: Katy Hudson
Publication Date: October 2016
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: July 9, 2016
The story of the birth of Jesus is a very important event to all Christians and is something that we deeply cherish and want to teach to our children. In the lovely new book, Where Jesus Slept, young children are introduced to the very special, very humble stable, and its inhabitants and visitors, where Jesus was born in a fun and entertaining way.
We all know the story of Jesus' birth - the stable, the animals, the shepherds, and the three wise men. Most children will likely be initially drawn to the animals that called the stable 'home.' As our children grow up, more important lessons about the birth of Jesus will take hold in their minds and hearts. To start their education, however, a simple retelling of the Nativity works best and author Norma Lewis has done just that in a very clever way.
Rather than simply tell the Nativity story in simple text or rhyme, Lewis has written a story that builds upon itself. If you're familiar with I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, then you know what I'm referring to. Where Jesus Slept uses a cumulative story structure (also known as a chain tale) to keep things flowing in a nice, easy manner that keeps kids engaged. Because it uses a lot of repetition, it also encourages participation by children while their parents read.
This is the STABLE
that sheltered the COW
that shared the STRAW
that lined the BED
where JESUS slept.
In addition to the playful repetition, the story also capitalizes key words (Jesus, Angel, Shepherd, Star, etc.), which helps to emphasize those words. Add in the absolutely lovely illustrations by Katy Hudson and you have a book that should be in every home and read not just at Christmas but throughout the year.
Quill says: A fun way to teach children about the humble birth of Jesus that, through fun repetition, will help them remember the story.