This book is deceptively promising at first glance: a handsome volume large enough to engage two readers, brightly illustrated, and enough tales to share throughout the season in story sessions of manageable length. But the potential buyer would be wise to keep browsing for another book to satisfy.
The attempt here to show other angles, through various agents, of the events surrounding the birth of Christ fails miserably. There is none of the pure sweetness of books such as Who is Coming to Our House? or delight in fanciful presentation as found in The Tale of the Three Trees or The Friendly Beasts, or simple insight to be gleaned as from The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree. The result, in each of the 10 stories, is merely silly and off-putting.
It's unfortunate that the high quality, appealing illustrations are tied to such inferior text.
In retelling the story of the Incarnation and Nativity, the writer has rich material with which to weave a story for readers of any age with mystery, beauty, irony and even humor. But the opportunity is wasted here ~ like having the makings of a rich banquet, or even a flavorful, healthy sandwich, and turning out fast food instead.