Monday, November 25, 2013

Review/Giveaway: The First Christmas Night

We’ve got two boxes of Christmas books that make their way into the living room each year.  And I have a list of favorites we check out from the library, as well.  You won’t find many about Santa Claus in the stack.  Nothing against him personally, but we’ve tried to keep the main focus on Jesus ever since Miss Esmé was tiny.

When looking for new books to to add to our lineup, I’ve often been disappointed by redundancy.  It takes special talent to tell the same story in a new, fresh way that glistens with the awesomeness of that first Christmas night.The First Christmas Night

I think this latest addition to our Christmas collection displays that special talent.  Keith Christopher transforms the comfortable, rhythmic lines of the classic ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas into an even sweeter rendition of the miraculous first Christmas, while illustrator Christine Kornacki makes the story glow with radiance in warm illustrations that perfectly complement the text.


The First Christmas Night is a beautiful retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem so long ago. The poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and winds though Christ’s birth, the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the Wise Men.  The simple, yet elegant, verses will appeal to little ones and are accompanied by the rich acrylic illustrations of Christine Kornacki.

Twas the very first Christmas when all through the town
not a creature was stirring—there was not a sound.
The moon shining bright in the heavens so high
gave the look of midday to the Bethlehem sky.
The animals were nestled in warm, cozy places
with looks of contentment on each of their faces.

About the Author
Keith Christopher is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and educator, and he has served as editor and producer for several major music publishers. In addition to writing and studio producing, Keith is on the faculty at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with his wife and two children.
About the Illustrator
At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children's books began to take shape, including illustrating the best-selling The Sparkle Box for Ideal's Children's Books. Christine's recent work also includes illustrating the six-book series for the American Girl historical doll characters Marie-Grace and Cecile.  She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.

Format:  Hardcover with jacket, 32 pages
Age Recommendation: 4 - 8 years old
Publisher:  Ideals Books
List Price:  $16.99
To Buy:

What Mom Liked 

It’s all about Jesus.

The text is a sweet, rhythmic read-aloud – it brings back visions of classic Christmases past, only with a brighter storyline.  It can also serve as a nice easy reader for young readers.

The illustrations draw me back to the book time and again.  There is a glow to them, a light that draws one in to the pictures, wanting to get closer.  The faces are beautiful but not distant, people you’d want to get to know.

I can see this becoming a memorized favorite over the next few years.  It works nicely in a family setting, and would also serve well in a group setting such as a children’s church.

And now, we have a giveaway copy of this sweet book to help you focus on the things that matter most at this busy time of year!  US or Canada addresses only on this one.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure:  Thanks to FlyBy Promotions, author, and publisher for coordinating providing review and giveaway copies of this book.  I received these for free in hope that I would mention them on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


bary said...

It’s a Very informative article, all the information are given very clearly. Awesome blog.

Andrina Goetz said...

We like Merry Christmas Mom and Dad by Mercer Mayer. Thank you.

bev said...

A beautiful Christmas book to read to the grandchildren. They like How the Grinch Stole Christmas too. Thanks for having this contest.

Penney Douglas said...

We like The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado.