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The Donkey in the Living Room [Kindle Edition]

Sarah Cunningham
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
You Save: $11.00 (73%)

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle Edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


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Kindle Edition $3.99  
Hardcover $11.35  
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Book Description

This book allows families to begin a Christmas tradition focused around the Nativity story for the 9 days leading up to Christmas. Each day children wake up to find a wrapped gift, which contains a figure from the Nativity. The story follows that character’s role in the story of Christmas. Wonderful illustrations bring the story to life as new characters are introduced each day.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sarah is an author and idea junkie who blogs about finding extraordinary relationships in a sometimes too-ordinary world. Among other life experiences, she lived in a Chicago homeless shelter during college and led a disaster relief trip to Ground Zero following the September 11th attacks. Now, her biggest adventures unfold in her work as chief servant to the Emperor (her 3 year old) and his newly-appointed Chief of Staff (her newborn). Sarah is the author of four books, including Picking Dandelions (Zondervan, 2010) and The Well-Balanced World Changer (Moody, 2013). She is also actively involved in several social networks and welcomes readers to connect with her on Twitter, Facebook or her website (

Product Details

  • File Size: 8417 KB
  • Print Length: 32 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Publishing Group (December 8, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433683180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433683183
  • ASIN: B00EZAR99G
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,715 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for families! November 15, 2012
By Melanie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I cannot recommend this book enough! This book tells the story of Christmas using the pieces of a nativity set. The idea (as explained at the beginning) is to wrap up each day's character(s) and have your child (children) open them, one each day, and read the corresponding story in the book. The illustrations are lovely, and the story is wonderful. I am so excited to share this with my kids, and I can't wait to get out my Christmas decorations so that we can wrap up the figures and explain to the kids what we'll be doing this year! It's such a great way to share the meaning of Christmas with my family, in a fun and meaningful way, and to begin a new tradition. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing a part of your childhood with all of us!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Treat for The Entire Family! October 15, 2014
What a sweet book Sarah Raymond Cunningham introduces us to. She shares with us what could be a new family tradition to share with our children for years to come.

I am reviewing the book. With the book you can purchase the box set which I would highly recommend. Your children and grandchildren will love this idea!!

Sarah begins with sharing that this is a sweet family tradition that she was gifted with as a child. This book is to be read each day nine days before Christmas. In the box set you will find wooden treasures that will help tell the story.

9 Days Before Christmas- Mary, Mother of Jesus
8 Days Before Christmas- The Donkey
7 Days Before Christmas- The Cow
6 Days Before Christmas- The Sheep
5 Days Before Christmas- The Shepherd
4 Days Before Christmas- The Angel
3 Days Before Christmas- The Camel
2 Days Before Christmas- The Wise Men
1 Day Before Christmas- Joseph, Father of Jesus
Christmas Day- Baby Jesus

With each wooden figure, you could wrap them as a gift, and hide them in your home, ready for your children to discover. When your children uncover the piece for the day it's time to sit down with the book and share the story that goes with each figurine.

I absolutely love this idea! Family traditions are so special. Our children not only cherish them, but they pass them on to their children. This is a wonderful way to bring our family together and a new way to enjoy the nativity scene.

What a wonderful way to begin each day or to close each night before bed. This is one I believe you will enjoy immensely.

This children's book is a gift from B&H Publishing Group for sharing my review with you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great idea and a good replacement for Elf on the Shelf December 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this thinking it was just another children's book about the Christmas Story. It is so much more than that. It is a great way to bring excitement and life into the story of the birth of Jesus, with your children. And since there are little bits that are done daily over several days, it is a good alternative to Elf on the Shelf, for those who are looking for one. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5, is because of the confusion that could be created in where the wise men's part of the story takes place in this book. Their part of the story is told before baby Jesus (which makes sense for the book because baby Jesus' part of the story is the "grand finale" and is told on Christmas Day), but this could create confusion for little ones since the wise men did not appear to see Baby Jesus until much later after his birth (some say two years).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Christmas Tradition started January 25, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book to my grandchildren. They asked if we could do this next year for christmas. Of course I said yes. Now I'm just looking for a kid friendly Nativity set! This is a great new tradition for our family. Thank you for sharing it with us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for Christmas January 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I didn't purchase the book in time to do one figure a day, so we went through them all on Christmas Eve using my toddler's Little People nativity set. My three year old loved it and really paid attention through the entire book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Donkey in the living room October 29, 2014
By mamaof4
Format:Kindle Edition
The Donkey in the Living Room" by Sarah Raymond Cunningham" book review. A Tradition that celebrates the true meaning of Christmas.

This delightful hardback picture book is perfect for the last few days before Christmas, to help the children understand the real meaning of Christmas. The author suggests that you gift wrap your nativity figures (labeling so you know which is which) and the have the children unwrap one figure each evening while you read the story about that figure. The days/ stories are:
9 days before: Mary
8 days before: donkey
7 days before: cow
6 days before: sheep
5 days before: shepherd
4 days before: angel
3 days before: camel
2 days before: wise men
1 day before: Joseph
Christmas day: Baby Jesus

I think this is a wonderful way to read the Christmas story to children, concentrating on 1 aspect of the story each day. While I do not agree with the sequence of the wise men at the manger, understand the order, as Jesus arrives on Christmas day.

I think this would be a wonderful gift for a preschool age child, and could also include a child proof nativity set (Play mobile or similar) so the child can explore and enjoy reenacting the Christmas story.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, B&H Kids. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to bring Jesus back into Christmas
This was probably my most favorite part of Christmas. My 2 year old had so much fun unwrapping these and placing them inside the nativity each night. Read more
Published 1 month ago by LittleBlessing13
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Tradition
Wonderful tradition starting book. My boys, under 4, enjoyed every day and were so excited to open Baby Jesus on Christmas.
Published 3 months ago by Amanda Lum
5.0 out of 5 stars A great teaching tool
I bought this book in order to aide my two year old on the true celebration of Jesus Christ. It is a very helpful tool and a great start to what I would like to do with our... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Chandra
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas story book.
We were very pleased with the book. Bought it for each Great Grandchild for 2014 Christmas. However, we found another manger scene with little figures that we thought were better... Read more
Published 4 months ago by B. Lanford
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a really cute book. The Christmas story ...
This is a really cute book. The Christmas story is told from the perspective of different characters in the Nativity. We used this with a toy Nativity we had already purchased.
Published 4 months ago by E. Yost
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great tradition to start with my family.
Published 4 months ago by Peggy Aiello
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Children at church loved the story. Held there interest throughout entire program.
Published 5 months ago by Martha Schilling
5.0 out of 5 stars :)
Good book
Published 5 months ago by Enjoli
4.0 out of 5 stars Grandson likes
My grandson likes this book and if ebooks gets him to read more, then that is the way we will go.
Published 8 months ago by Susan Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars great read.
Great read my five year old read alone. She enjoyed it and would like to read more about the donkey.
Published 11 months ago by Kandyce White
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More About the Author

From living in a Chicago homeless shelter to leading a disaster relief team at Ground Zero, Sarah sunk her early twenties into whirlwind attempts to save the world.

After earning a degree in Urban Studies, she convinced Westwinds Community Church to create a new position for her: "Director of Outreach" (it sounded better than "Overzealous Social Activist" on business cards).

Three years later, Sarah married Chuck Cunningham and joined her new husband teaching area high schoolers and living in an an unfortunately pink house on the south side of Prison City (nicknamed such because it houses the state prison). These experiences combined to inspire Sarah's first book, Dear Church: Letters From a Disillusioned Generation.

Sarah went on to publish Picking Dandelions, a memoir-style collection of writings on spiritual change. She also contributed to the Mosaic Bible (Tyndale 2009), unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity and Why It Matters by David Kinnaman (Baker Books, October 2007) and Out of the Ooze (NavPress, November 2007). In 2012, she released The Donkey in the Living Room, a 28-page illustrated children's book inviting families to unwrap manger scene figures and read each figure's story together in the days leading up to Christmas. She also has two upcoming releases, Portable Faith (Abingdon) and the Well Balanced World Changer (Moody) in 2013. Zondervan also plans to release a new, expanded edition of Dear Church in early 2014.

Amidst all the writing, Sarah became an idea junkie and freelance consultant to several mainstream Christian events. She also earned her Masters in Educational Leadership, none of which resulted in additional respect from her manic Jack Russell terrier, Wrigley. She and her husband currently live in southeast Michigan where Sarah serves as chief servant to the Emperor Justus (her 3 year old) and his chief of staff, Malachi (their 3 month old).

Sarah has contributed to Christian resources such as Relevant Magazine, Catalyst Publications and q ideas. She and her faith writings have been featured in a wide range of media, including the Dallas Morning News, the Wichita Eagle, the USA Today and Christianity Today's Leadership Journal.

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