With illustrations so rich and soft that they look simultaneously 3-D and fuzzy, THE MIDNIGHT VISITORS is among the newest of Christmas read-alouds for the wee ones. I believe it is destined to become a favorite of young families. Miriam the cow is just settling down for the evening in her cowshed when she hears a knock. It's the rabbit family seeking a warm and dry bed. Thus begins a procession of creatures seeking shelter in the shed, including of course, Mary and Joseph. Miriam is overjoyed when her feeding trough is used for the babe's cradle, and she learns from the shepherds who quickly come to view the infant that he is a very special. As the book ends, the shepherds tell Mary and Joseph that they will never forget this night, and all the creatures of the stable know they won't forget either.
Of course, this book is not biblical, but there are many other fiction tales that brilliantly exhibit the essence of Christmas. We can all identify with the little drummer boy, right, but of course, we know that there was no drummer boy at the actual birth. One of my favorites as a child was GOLDEN BOOKS' LITTLE LOST ANGEL. Decades later, I still love that story. This new title by Juliet David and Jo Parry will make wonderful stocking stuffers (although it WON'T fit into the stocking) or Sunday School exchange gifts for younger kids. If would also be a great gift to a Christian Daycare or Preschool class. Don't forget to make reading and stories part of your Christmas tradition with your family, especially the younger ones. If you want them to understand the message of Christ and love and peace, you need to tell them that again and again, and in many forms, and on their level of understanding. I received a copy of MIDNIGHT VISITOR from Kregel Publications for my honest review.