Book Advent – 21st December The Nativity by Jane Ray

Jane Ray has won many awards for her fabulous picture books including The Story of Creation. In this sumptuous book, she retells the Christmas story, with a fold-out Nativity scene and stand-up characters’ as an added bonus.

The Nativity cover

During my time as school librarian this glorious book had pride of place in the library at Christmas time with the fold out Nativity scene displayed where all the children could see it. Frequently it aroused comment from both teachers and pupils partly because of its beauty but also because, unlike many children’s versions of the Nativity, the characters rather than being European in appearance did look as though they came from the Middle East.

The illustrations are stunning, highlighted in gold and with rich colours used throughout the book. There is a sense of drama and dignity to the overall feel which I find particularly fitting and which makes this book one that readers want to linger over.

Unfortunately I think that this version is no longer in publication but it may be possible to find a second hand copy in good condition. It would definitely be worth it as among the many versions I have shared in the school library this one has had a lasting impact. It is very beautiful.


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