cover image OFF TO BETHLEHEM!


Dandi Daley Mackall, , illus. by R.W. Alley. . Harper/Festival, $8.99 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-694-01505-4

With a minimum of words and a rapid tempo emphasized by a steady stream of exclamation points, Mackall's (Until the Christ Child Came, reviewed below) rhythmic verse suggests the haste with which the shepherds, wise men and angels raced to Bethlehem to greet Christ the King. ("Brightest star,/ Promised star,/ Kings on camels riding far—/ Following,/ Galloping,/ Off to Bethlehem!"). Alley (The Know-Nothings) takes a humorous, though not irreverent, approach in watercolors of everyone skedaddling to the scene of the Nativity, where all is calm. Ages 4-7. (Oct.)