cover image The Midnight Visitors

The Midnight Visitors

Juliet David, illus. by Jo Parry. Lion Hudson/Candle (Kregel, dist.), $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-78128-233-5

Miriam, a prickly but kindhearted cow, shares her shed with a family of rabbits, a fox, and eventually a pregnant woman and her husband, who are seeking a warm place to stay. Numerous sound effects punctuate the storytelling, from the “tap tap tap” of visitors knocking on the shed’s door to the “Whhhaaaa! Whhhaaaaa!” of the newborn baby. Explicit religious references are few—arriving shepherds mention that an angel directed them to the “very special” baby, but none of the human characters is named. While the fuzzy textures, soft edges, rounded shapes, and quiet palette of Parry’s illustrations combine to create a cozy and soothing atmosphere, they can’t quite equal the personality David brings to some of her characters, especially Miriam. “Is this a cowshed or a hotel?” she wonders as visitors continue to arrive. Ages 2–4. (Sept.)