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Glenys Nellist’s picture book is based on the structure and cadence of Dr. Clement C. Moore’s famous poem “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” which tells the story of Santa Claus appearing on Christmas Eve. Instead, Nellist offers a retelling of the true Christmas story of Jesus’ birth.

Tired Mary and Joseph, watchful animals, magnificent angels, curious shepherds, and three splendid kings bearing gifts celebrate the birth of the Christ child (though in the biblical narrative, the magi-kings make their appearance later at a house where Jesus and his parents are staying).

Nellist’s lilting verse and Elena Selivanova’s gentle illustrations invite young children to imagine what it was like on the night that Jesus was born. Ages 4 and up. (Zonderkidz)

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