Carey Morning Alan Marks 32 Pages Ages: 4 +
Inside Jacket: The shepherd’s young daughter helped with the sheep every single day. How she longed to help through the night as well; but her father said it was too dark and she needed sleep. But when she awoke in her bed one night to find the sky filled with bright light, she simply had to go and find out what was happening.
The young shepherd girl helped her father, every day, tending to his sheep. When one little lamb lost her mommy, the girl would put the lamb in her lab, allowing it to suckle on her fingers until mom returned. She gathered the fleece after her father sheared his sheep. And when dad fell asleep, the young shepherd girl tended to the entire flock. But when shepherd girl wanted to help at night that her father said no. It was too dark and she needed her sleep.
One night the young shepherd girl awoke to find her room alit when it should have been dark. Looking outside, she saw a large star so bright it lit up all the outdoors. Shepherd girl got up, having decided to find out what was happening. She knew the way from all the sheep tending and followed the star through olive groves and up hills. Sighting her father, and the other shepherds, the girl followed them into Bethlehem, where the large star hung above a stable.
Inside, the girl hid between a cow and a donkey. When three men, wearing purple velvet and gold all became silent. An angel had spread her wings shining light all over the scene. One of the wise men bent down, smiled, took the girl’s hand, and led her forward. There was her father.
The Shepherd Girl of Bethlehem is a nice twist on the traditional story of Bethlehem. All that has changed is the addition of the young shepherd girl. She was not to be out in the dark. She needed her sleep and her father had forbad her. When curiosity gets the better of her, the girl decides to find out what is going on. Her father is not tending his sheep. She finds him also following the large star with other shepherds not tending their sheep. Inside the stable Jesus had been born only hours earlier; the large star announcing the birth of a king.
The illustrations are done with a pen over watercolors. The affect is stunning. The opening day spreads make an era that looks clean, bright, and endless in the shepherd’s field. The nights, instead of dark blues are light blue and greens from the overhead star as yet unseen. In the stable, the colors become shades of bright yellows that have a look of gold. That light continues as the shepherd and his daughter return home that night. A change is upon the world.
If each Christmas you opt for a new story, The Shepherd Girl of Bethlehem is an excellent choice. If you have a daughter or granddaughter this becomes the best choice this year. The times of Romans and kings, Jesus and pharaohs, were not an empowering time for woman and girls. Most stories about this time are male dominated. Here, The Shepherd Girl of Bethlehem, gives little girls a story they can put themselves into. The young shepherd girl has no name. She can be Mandy or Sandy, Betty or Nettie, Bethany or You.
The Star of the book is Jesus, but the main character can be any little girl. That is magical any time of the year.
Author: Carey Morning website Illustrator: Alan Marks website Publisher: Lion Children's (Kregel) website Release Date: September 23, 2011 ISBN: 978-0-7459-6232-0 Number of Pages: 32 Ages: 4 + Copyright ©2011 by Lion Hudson Text: Copyright ©2011 by Carey Morning Illustrations: Copyright ©2011 by Alan Marks, used with permission. ...............