Published by Beaming Books on October 11, 2022
Genres: Children's, Bible Stories
Buy on Amazon
Glory to God in the highest! Jesus has been born!
With surprises to uncover and reveal on every page, this collection of Christmas stories features the angel Gabriel's visit to Mary, Mary's journey to her cousin Elizabeth, and the birth of Jesus. Full of colorful and bright scenes, Lift-the-Flap Christmas Stories for Young Children invites the youngest readers to celebrate the birth of God's Son.
Every year, pretty much every children’s book publisher—Christian-based or not—publishes at least one book about the Nativity. It can be difficult for individual books to stand out amid the masses and, since the story can’t be altered too much, it all comes down to the quality of storytelling, the illustrations, and any unique additions to the way the book is experienced. Christmas Stories for Young Children from Naomi Joy Krueger, Megan Higgins, and Beaming Books checks all of these things: solid and simple storytelling, engaging illustrations, and a lift-the-flap reading format.
Each set of two panels tells a different aspect of the nativity story in chronological order, beginning with the angel who visits Mary and Joseph and ending with the visit of the Magi. There is typically one paragraph of text initially visible with more elements of the story unfolding as various flaps are lifted—usually three to four flaps per set of panels.
The flaps are used to reveal some sort of change or movement in the story. For example, when the Magi visit, we see a scene of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in a house. One flap is the door, which when opened reveals the Magi standing outside with their gifts. The other flaps reveal the star that led them to Jesus and the contents of their satchels where the gifts are contained.
While I really enjoyed the story, the weakness of Christmas Stories for Young Children is the lift-the-flap feature, the element the book is centered on. For lift-the-flap books I always try to think “What does this reveal? How does it change the story?” In this case, many of the flaps are don’t alter much from the original scene. The lift-the-flap element isn’t always integral to the story. The primary purpose is to reveal more narration, not to exhibit a change in the illustrations. However, from a technical construction sense, my primary concern with all lift-the-flap books is that they inevitable turn into rip-the-flap books because my kids can be less-than-gentle when trying to open the flap. This book is well-constructed and has held up to their maneuverings, possibly thanks to a divot cut into the appropriate side showing where to pull.
So while I think this could have been a little more creative, it’s still a cute and colorful story. If your kid enjoys these type of books, I would definitely check it out!