cover image Listen to the Silent Night

Listen to the Silent Night

Dandi Daley Mackall, illus. by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. Dutton, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-42276-1

Mackall takes a contrary approach to the traditional silence of Christmas Eve, inviting readers to consider the sounds implied in the story of the birth of Jesus: the flap of Joseph’s sandals as he walked, the noise of the crowd that so filled Bethlehem that there was no room left at any inn, the mooing of cows where Joseph and Mary finally lodged. Mackall’s lines occasionally falter (“Hear the oomph! oomph! oomph! of the shoving game/ Down in Bethlehem where the faithful came”), but Johnson and Fancher’s predominantly blue paintings are jewellike with their emphasis on the sky of “a miraculous Christmas night.” Ages 3–up. (Oct.)