Who Built the Stable? A Nativity Poem

Ashley Bryan. S&S/Atheneum, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-0934-7
“A child built the stable./ A little shepherd boy/ Apprenticed as a carpenter/ In his father’s employ” is Bryan’s (All Things Bright and Beautiful) answer to the title’s question. Told in rhyming verse, this touching take on the classic nativity story finds the young carpenter seeing himself in the newborn. (“in his heart he knew:/ The babe would be a carpenter./ He’d be a shepherd too”). Bryan wields tempera and acrylic in strong strokes to evoke Bethlehem, (“A rich and verdant land”) with saturated shades of primary and secondary colors, lively expressions on human and animal faces, and sweeping lines to create the impression of movement. Pleasing to the eye and to the ear. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2012
Release date: 10/02/2012
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