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Voices of Christmas Hardcover – July 14, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5–Grimes presents 14 poems, each preceded by a Bible verse, telling the story of the Nativity through the voices of Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, the innkeeper, Herod, and so on. The poems, mostly unrhymed free verse, use simple language and a rolling rhythm that makes them a pleasure to read aloud. Gaspar, one of the Wise Men, begins his verse with &All those years of poring over/charts and scrolls on astronomy,/then suddenly, it was as if/the Morning Star/leapt from the page/and rose into the sky. The realistic paintings, rendered in muted nighttime shades of blue, gray, brown, and yellow, depict intense people in the midst of a momentous event, their glowing faces bowed in reverence or raised to the heavens. This lovely and heartfelt book adds a deeper perspective to the oft-told story and will enhance most holiday collections.–Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library END

From Booklist

There are many versions of the Christmas story that fall into the holiday category. This one, with its depth of religious feeling, is closer to Grimes’ book about Easter, At Jerusalem’s Gate (2005). Most of the voices of the title are familiar: Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Herod, among others. But lesser known biblical voices get a say as well, for instance Anna, who has spent her life worshipping at the Temple and recognizes Jesus for who he is. Writing in a personal free-verse style, Grimes makes these characters seem very flesh-and-blood. Joseph is ready to cast out Mary: “Why has she done this to me?” The Innkeeper is satisfied with her actions. After all, who would give up a warm bed for strangers? Herod is unnuanced: “His death will be my joy!” The paintings, focusing on individuals, are solid but sometimes miss the text’s inherent drama. Each spread begins with a simple character introduction (a link to an appropriate biblical text would have been helpful). An included audio CD helps bring these voices to life. Grades 3-6. --Ilene Cooper
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz; Har/Com edition (July 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310711924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310711926
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,142,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nikki Grimes conveyed the fire-in-the-belly fervor of a Harlem girl who knows she was born to write in Jazmin's Notebook, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. In My Man Blue, a Booklist Editor's Choice and Newsweek Children's Books of the Year selection, her artful words expressed a boy's journey from skepticism to trust. And now with Bronx Masquerade she presents a rich chorus of eighteen voices, singing openly about ideas, feelings, and questions--things that open minds, invite debate, provide release. A recent Booklist review proclaims: "As always, Grimes gives young people exactly what they're looking for--real characters who show them they are not alone."An accomplished poet, novelist, journalist, and educator, Ms. Grimes was born and raised in New York City and now lives in the Los Angeles area.

Customer Reviews

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This little treasure makes a wonderful gift.
Mike Robinson
The author insightfully imagines what the various characters of Christmas would have said at the time that the birth of the Savior was unfolding.
Tracy L. Polyak
The voice artists were mesmerizing and the illustrations were beautiful.
Jewelry Whisperer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jewelry Whisperer on December 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
mythoughts

Do not let this Christmas season go by without getting a copy of the Voices of Christmas. Breathtaking, emotional and perfectly executed. I listened to this book andCD with my twins and I was brought to tears.

The emotional views that are portrayed by each character leave with you a true look into what their hearts may have felt at t hat time. So many times we read or hear the story of Jesus birth and don't go farther then the words onthe page.

Voices of Christmas allows you a little glimpse on the possible thoughts that Mary, Joseph, the Angel Gabriel, Elizabeth and Wise Men may have had at "that" moment. They moment they realized the Son of God was here. Amazing.

My girls didn't quite grasp why I was so moved but I was determined at that moment that all my family would hear this story this Christmas season. After listening to the CD and reading the book...the true spirit and reason of Christmas was blaring in my heart.

Nikki Grimes does a impeccable job of creating the story line. The voice artists were mesmerizing and the illustrations were beautiful.

This will be a book that you will read over and over. It is destined to become a family tradition.Voices of Christmas
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tracy L. Polyak on December 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The author insightfully imagines what the various characters of Christmas would have said at the time that the birth of the Savior was unfolding. What was the angel Gabriel thinking as he prepared to appear to Mary? What was Mary thinking upon Gabriel's departure? What were the thoughts of the wise men as they approached the child, the Messiah?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mike Robinson on December 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Poet Nikki Grimes provides fascinating and inspiring verse in the new book "The Voices of Christmas." In this winsome book one peers into the lives of many diverse characters involved in the birth of Jesus Christ. Grimes provides relevant Bible verses and delightful mix of poems.

This marvelous work insightfully and joyfully engages Biblical characters such as:

- Mary the mother of Jesus
- The angel Gabriel
- Joseph
- A shepherd
- The wise men
- Simeon
- Anna
- and Herod

Lovely illustrations go along side of the poems and scriptural truths.
This little treasure makes a wonderful gift.
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