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Joyful and worshipful, this rhyming and counting picture book shares with young children the thrilling news of Jesus’ birth. Author Suzanne Nelson effectively replicates the cadence of the enduring poem, “Over in the Meadow,” as she helps children imagine the wonder and excitement of what happened in the Bethlehem stable as adoring people, angels, and animals brought their gifts to the Christ child. One drummer boy “rum-pa-pummed a birthday song to welcome a wee son.” Mary’s two arms cradled the babe. Three wisemen offered their treasures on bended knee. Four cows huddled by the feeding-box, “and their snuggles warmed a manger for a prince born poor.” Five donkeys “watched in awe and wonder as God’s promise came alive.” And, so on: six doves cooed, seven angels sang, eight lambs “gave their hay to make a bed to rest a King so great,” nine shepherds prayed, and 10 children loved “the tiny baby, born the son of God and men.” 

Illustrator Aleksandar Zolotic’s lively, culturally sensitive artwork depicts children from various ethnic groups gathering around the olive-skinned baby Jesus in the manger. Zolotic’s delightful, final illustration includes all the characters pictured in the book, and author Suzanne Nelson concludes with an invitation, “Over in a stable, on a merry Christmas morn, / can you count all those who celebrate / the special babe just born?” 

Fun, challenging, and reverent, Over in a Stable is sure to delight young children and their parents and caregivers. (Zonderkidz)

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