cover image Long Ago, on a Silent Night

Long Ago, on a Silent Night

Julie Berry, illus. by Annie Won. Orchard, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-338-27772-2

Berry and Won nimbly interweave a modern infant’s familial reception with the story of Christ’s birth. In consistent end rhyme, text draws on the legendary tale, each phrase ending with an italicized nod to the modern child (“Long ago, and far away/ A baby was born on Christmas Day.../ This wonder was seen by a lucky few./ I see a miracle in you”). Images layer and juxtapose the two stories: in one spread, desert-crossing travelers and camels look out at a guiding star from the left; at right, a skyline represents the modern family’s city home. Won’s dewy illustrations evoke the nostalgic feel of a CGI-animated holiday short film as characters in a range of skin tones move through celestial swirls, the modern family celebrates Christmas amid twinkle lights and decor, and animals celebrate the Christ child. A story of welcome, brimming with joy. Ages up to 3. (Sept.)