cover image The Christmas Baby

The Christmas Baby

Marion Dane Bauer, , illus. by Richard Cowdrey. . Simon & Schuster, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-7885-5

Enjoy the diverse flavors of the season with some sparkling originals, a few familiar faces and fresh takes on the classics.

The Christmas Baby Marion Dane Bauer , illus. by Richard Cowdrey. Simon & Schuster , $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4169-7885-5

“Have you heard?... A baby is coming!” Joseph asks innkeeper after innkeeper to no avail, until he reaches a group of laughing barnyard animals who happily make room. Joseph's refrain is echoed by rosy-faced angels and heard by shepherds and kings, who gather to peer at the child who “smiled at the world with God's own smile.” The final pages shift to the birth of a modern infant whose family gathers around its crib. The parallel should hearten the youngest readers, though the jubilantly cutesy acrylics are sweet to the point of saccharine. Ages 2–5. (Oct.)