If Mary told five-year-old Jesus the story of his birth, it might have been like this:
“It’s a true story…It’s the story of how you were born…And the reason why I want to tell it to you is love…
As Mary cleanses a wound on her child’s forehead, from rocks some older boys had thrown, she begins by recounting the visit of the angel who foretold her pregnancy, and her visit to her cousin Elizabeth . The author’s translation of Mary’s song, the Magnificat, is well suited for reading, or chanting, to children:
I sing the greatness of my God
Who chose to raise his lowly maid
While putting down the rich and proud:
Oh, holy is his name!
The Lord remembers Israel;
His mercy and his love remain;
As with our fathers it was well,
With us be it the same.
As the book ends, “Joseph, the carpenter, strong and true” is teaching his son to use hammer and nails.
Mary watches…but Mary isn’t the only one.
The angels are watching.
And God the Father in heaven is leaning low to see.
And all the world is waiting; the shepherds and you and me.Mary’s First Christmas
My Christmas book wish list includes this author and illustrator, and some others. (Are my children following me?) How I’d love to share these books with all of our grandchildren, one by one!
- Mary’s First Christmas Wangerin and Ladwig
- Peter’s First Easter, Wangerin and Ladwig
- Psalm Twenty-Three, illustrated by Ladwig
- Morning has Broken, Eleanor Farjeon and Ladwig
- The Lord’s Prayer, illustrated by Ladwig
- When Daddy Prays, Nikki Grimes and Ladwig
- He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator.