cover image On This Special Night

On This Special Night

Claire Freedman, , illus. by Simon Mendez. . Scholastic Press, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-545-10486-9

This tender telling of the Nativity story focuses on a striped tabby cat named Little Kitten, who is first seen curled up next to its orange mother in a barn. After a donkey, lamb, mice and calf stop by en route to a special event, Little Kitten and its mother follow, peering from the roof at a softly glowing stable. All of the animals gather around to witness the baby “sleeping soundly in the sweet, soft hay.” The baby is never explicitly named or seen, but readers will relish Freedman's serene prose and Mendez's light-infused, realistic renderings. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)