The Animals Speak: A Christmas Eve Legend

Marion Dane Bauer, illus. by Brittany Baugus. Beaming, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5064-6643-9
With spare, lyrical text, Newbery Honoree Bauer draws a thread from the Nativity to the present, embracing the legend that all creatures gain speech at midnight on Christmas Eve to celebrate the birth of Jesus. “Long and long the story has been told,” begins the soothing refrain, recounting how the shepherds, magi, and animals followed a beckoning star to the Bethlehem stable. Contemporary scenes—such as one backstage at a Christmas pageant featuring children of varying skin tones and abilities—then shift readers to “now and now, the story is told,” as species from around the globe “lift their heads/ to the starry sky/ and cry,/ ‘Rejoice!’ ” Baugus’s bold color and luminous digital spreads convey a sense of reverence and joy in this calm picture book, which will most appeal to those familiar with its biblical allusions. Ages 3–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/09/2021
Release date: 10/01/2021
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 32 pages - 978-1-5064-6688-0
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