cover image This First Christmas Night

This First Christmas Night

Laura Godwin, illus. by William Low. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-250-08102-5

From the opening page, Godwin (the Doll People series) directly addresses readers, beckoning them to witness the sights and sounds of the first Christmas through their senses. “See this small gray donkey,/ this long, dusty road,/ this promising star,” she begins, and a quiet urgency builds with successive phrases (“Feel the frost on this clear Bethlehem night/ See this inn with no room”) until the final spreads reveal the miracle: “Welcome this tiny baby boy./ Feel this hush./ This peace on Earth./ This first Christmas night.” An inky sky serves as the backdrop for Low’s (Daytime Nighttime) commanding digital paintings, brightened only by the stars far above and a chorus of angels who appear in the final pages, showing the family with golden light. It’s a lyrical and understated account of the Nativity that will leave readers feeling as though they are witnessing something momentous. Ages 2–6. (Sept.)