Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.
The Busy Christmas Stable by Juliet David, illustrated by Sarah Pitt
Published by Candle Books, an imprint of Lion Hudson
“The Busy Christmas Stable” is a fun, interactive version of the Christmas story for young toddlers. It is a nice, sturdy board book sized more like a traditional children’s hardcover or paperback book. It picks up the story with Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem and, in 4 page spreads, concludes with the wise men presenting the baby Jesus with his gifts. Clearly, this is a highly abbreviated form of the nativity story, but it is just about the right length for my not-quite-18 month old.
Daniel also particularly likes the interactive aspect of “The Busy Christmas Stable.” The tabs shown at the bottom of the book move back and forth to cause different characters to appear on different pages. This does make “The Busy Christmas Stable” a book that needs supervision, because the characters at times need cajoling to slip smoothly back off-stage. Our Joseph already has a tendency to catch at the edge of the scene.
If there’s one thing that bothers me a bit about this book, it is the fact that the majority of the characters look far too Caucasian. They look perhaps a bit dark-skinned, but certainly not Middle-Eastern, which saddens me. We do have one other interactive board book from Candle Books, “The Very First Christmas,” about the Christmas story that does a somewhat better job at racial representation, but it is still slightly on the long side for Daniel, and right now he prefers “The Busy Christmas Stable.”
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