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.
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