#65 – One Night in Bethlehem by Jill Roman Lord

 4 Stars

“A young boy considers what he would done if he had been in Bethlehem when Jesus was born.  Engaging art with textures will help children imagine how it might have felt like to bo present for the birth of our King.”

One Night in Bethlehem is a Christmas inspired touch-and -feel book for young children.  The young boy in the story is lifted up by his mother so he can see and touch the family manger sitting on a mantle.  His mind takes over and he imagines himself at the manger, on that night so long ago in Bethlehem.  He envisions himself watching the actual scene, wondering what things felt like, so he reaches out and touches different objects.  Imagining himself as the angel above, he wears what angels may have worn back then.  Young children can touch-and-feel a swatch of satin.  There is also a lamb, the bright north star, and a cow to name a few.

This is a lovely Christian oriented story of a young boy present at the manager scene. Writing in verse, the author has written a story young children will be able to understand. Additionally, kids can connect with the story by touching  the stimulating objects presented on the thick cardboard pages.  It is also short enough as to not reach past a young child’s attention span.

This makes a great present for the very youngest.  It is sturdy, well written in fun rhymes, tells a traditional Christmas story the youngest can understand, and is a fast bedtime read.  I do not have any very young children, so I read and touched the objects in the book.  The swatches were firmly in place and different in feel and shape.  The illustrations are of a bright, happy child racing through one point in history.  I can see this being a special book for young girls and boys who will demand it be read over, and over, again.

One Night in Bethlehem: a touch-and-feel book

Author:  Jill Roman Lord
Illustrator:  Paige Keiser
Publisher: Candy Cane Press
Publication Date 2011
Number of Pages: 16
ISBN:  978-0-8249-1863-7