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*****= An all-time favorite
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****Jesus' Christmas Party

by Nicholas Allan

Reviewed December 21, 2002.
Random House, New York, 1991.  32 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (J 232.92 ALL).

Jesus’ Christmas Party has been my favorite of our library’s children’s Christmas books ever since Missy Stanaford pulled it out from the shelves and made me read it years ago.  This week, I used it for Story Time (Thursdays at 11:00), and was gratified to have all six preschoolers and toddlers roaring with laughter at my every word.

The book takes the perspective of the innkeeper.  He likes his sleep.  One night, a couple knocks on his door and wakes him up.  Since he has no room, he sends them to the stable round the back.  Soon they wake him up again asking for another, smaller blanket.  Then some shepherds wake him up.  Then a bright star shines its light over his house and wakes him up.  Next some kings come knocking.  Finally a chorus of angels sings.  (Yes, I know, the author didn’t quite get the order of events right, but it’s close enough.)  The innkeeper gets angrier and angrier with each interruption of his sleep.  Finally, he storms out to the stable to tell these people a thing or two.  When he sees the baby, he is transformed, and next thing you know, he’s waking up all the guests in the inn to share this wonderful event with them.

The cartoon-like but skillful illustrations add to the simple and light-hearted story.  I especially like the black cloud over the innkeeper’s head when he’s exceptionally angry.  It’s a new way of looking at the wonder of Jesus’ birth, when God reached down to us and became a tiny baby.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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