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The Birds of Bethlehem Hardcover


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The Birds of Bethlehem + The Friendly Beasts + The Legend of the Poinsettia
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399257802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399257803
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 10.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #560,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 3-A bird's-eye view of the Nativity. Early one winter morning in Bethlehem, some colorful birds gather for breakfast and recount the unusual and spectacular sights they have seen over recent days-people streaming into town, a full inn, a man and his wife led to a stable, an angel bringing tidings of joy, and heavenly hosts singing "Glory to God" in the night sky. Avian observers agree to follow the shepherds where they behold the most miraculous sight of all. dePaola does not disappoint with his charmingly simple illustrations and spare text. An ideal read-aloud. -Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

While pecking for grain in the fields, Bethlehem’s birds discuss what they saw the previous night. A green bird noticed many people walking over the hills. A yellow bird observed something unusual: the inn was full. A blue bird saw something strange: a couple housed in the inn’s stable. A red bird witnessed something extraordinary: an angel appearing to shepherds, announcing “tidings of great joy,” and telling them to visit a baby in a manger. Together, the birds fly to the stable to see the miracle. While stories about animals visiting baby Jesus are not uncommon, it is unusual to find one with a short text that traces the Nativity story reverently and without sentimentality. On the handsome dust jacket, the title’s silver letters have an iridescent sheen that shifts colors as the angle of light changes. It’s a playful, slightly mysterious element welcoming children to the story within. Painted in acrylics, the illustrations are notable for their simplified forms, pleasing compositions, and subtle combinations of colors. An inviting read-aloud choice for Christmas. Preschool-Grade 1. --Carolyn Phelan

More About the Author

"Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California.
It drove him through the years of teaching, designing greeting cards and stage sets, and painting church murals until 1965, when he illustrated his first children's book, Sound, by Lisa Miller for Coward-McCann. Eventually, freed of other obligations, he plunged full time into both writing and illustrating children's books.
He names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major influences on his work, but he soon found his own unique style. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his ""singular attainment in children's literature,"" the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal for his ""continued distinguished contribution,"" and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration.
Tomie dePaola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.
- He has been published for over 30 years.
- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.
- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.
- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition for his books in the children's book world, including:
- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association
- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association
- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution
- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal
- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association

"

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Basil on November 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was not the full quality that I have come to expect from Tommie DePaola. Nonetheless, my children responded well to it. By four year old gave it five stars (though she only does five or one). The illustrations do not seem to be up to Tommie's usual standard, although as always the colors are wonderful. The story line is very simple but sweet, several birds tell one another about certain events they had seen that all center upon the birth of Jesus. That they then go visit the baby Jesus send a subtle message about the way in which the message is for "all creatures great and small."

An interesting aspect of the book is that it does not say anything explicitly about Jesus as the "son of God" or about the virgin birth, nor does it say anything against them. As a result, in addition to being a very nice way to introduce Christian children to the story of Jesus, or to remind them of it and reflect upon it, this book could also be used to help non-Christian children understand some aspects of the story of Jesus.

Still, I do not think that this is Tommie's best work and it probably would not have been picked up by a publisher if his name was not attached to it. It falls far short of such classics as The Clown of God and My First Legends: The Story of Bluebonnet. For a beautiful book that has birds and a spiritual message, one could also buy The Conference of the Birds, illustrated by Demi, another children's book legend.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Soldier's Wife on November 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We are all big fans of Tomie dePaola in this house, but we were very disappointed in this book. The story line was...non-existent, and ended abruptly, and the illustrations were so far different from his usual style, I would say someone else altogether had made them. Wish I hadn't pre-ordered it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was not as fantastic as I expected it to be and it was over quickly! The artwork is nice but for the price I paid I should have just looked at the library for it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We purchased this to add to our Christmas book collection. It's a sweet, short read that offers another view of what happened in Bethlehem. I loved it as do my children.
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By Sharon Budin on January 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I used this book on Christmas eve with our children. as we read about each little bird couple, the children were invited to add birds of that color to the Advent Wreath. so that at the end our advent wreath was festooned with light and birds. It was lovely and the children really enjoyed it.
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This story is a wonderful different view on the traditional Christmas story. The birds wonder what is going on when they see the different things happening in the story. The birds are different colors so it is also a great book for teaching colors and it simplifies the story for younger children. We love this book and have it on our must read list for every Christmas.
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