- Age Range: 2 - 8 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 3
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (October 3, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 141692518X
- ISBN-13: 978-1416925187
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.4 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (286 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale Hardcover – October 3, 2006
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1–On a cold winter night, Kind Ox invites one visitor after another into the shelter of his stable–Old Dog, Stray Cat, and Small Mouse, who rest together in harmony. When Tired Donkey appears, he brings with him Mary and Joseph, and all of the animals welcome Jesus when He is born. The slightly fuzzy yet realistic acrylic paintings are dappled with multicolored blurry dots that add a touch of magic to the scene, although young children may simply assume that it's snowing. The very short and simple text, the catchy refrain, and the lovely illustrations make this title a fine choice for young listeners.–E. M.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
PreS-Gr. 2. 'Tis the eve of Christmas--a cold winter's night--when Kind Ox offers to share his stable by the inn. Assuring each tentative visitor that "there's always room for a little one," he first gives shelter to Old Dog, then, in quick succession, Stray Cat, Small Mouse, and Tired Donkey, who is accompanied by Joseph and a weary Mary. As predators and prey gather together in "the peace of a stable," they learn lessons about tolerance and generosity. Finally, they bear witness to the birth of the most wondrous "Little One" of all: the baby Jesus. Waddell, the author of the popular Little Bear series illustrated by Barbara Firth and many others, delivers another winner here. Quiet, meaningful, and ideal for the youngest readers, Waddell's simple text in large, easy-to-read type is rendered magical by Cockcroft's glowing acrylics. A majestic addition to any holiday collection. Terry Glover
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
ROOM FOR A LITTLE ONE is a lovely picture book that will paint a simple picture of how Jesus came to be for young children. The prose is extremely easy to understand for all ages, and the illustrations, depicting scenes of animals in the snow, and inside the warmth of the stable, will capture the hearts of parents, as well as their children. A wonderful holiday tale.
Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper
Jason Cockcroft is an amazing illustrator. His pictures are beautiful and peaceful, while detailed.
Room for a little one, is not long, but has such a beautiful message. It ends with "...a Little One came for the world."
This book is perfect for a bedtime story, or to be read on Christmas Eve, or morning. Our family highly recommends this book. We would give it a 6 if we could. It will be within reach all year long, not just at Christmas time.
Please allow me to read this book to you. Please sit and get comfortable. It's cold outside. Kick off your shoes, tuck in your feet. Here, I'll share my throw with you. Hot chocolate? Good.
See, it's an over-sized book, with each page full to the brim with subdued color. No white margins. This is a full story. Martin Waddell and Jason Cockcroft use every inch to tell their version of the manger story.
"It was a cold winter's night. Kind Ox lay in his stable, close to the side of the inn."
There in the doorway appears a dog, backlighted with the glow of dusk.
"Old Dog came by. He stopped and looked into the stable. 'I need somewhere to rest,' said Old Dog. 'Come inside,' Kind Ox said. 'There's always room for a little one here.'"
Kind Ox, a pure white beast, is the gracious host, the one who does not turn away those in need. His actions, of course, parallel his owner. Artist Cockcroft paints the most dead-tired look in that dog's eyes, so reflective of almost unbearable weariness, perhaps reflective of the burden of sin we would like to set down.
When Stray Cat comes by, Old Dog promises not to chase her. Then in her turn Stray Cat promises not to harm Small Mouse. (Please note the use of particular adjectives for each critter, sobriquets for the types of humans in the world, types of burdens described so often in the Jesus stories, burdens which can be put down.) So they all sleep contentedly until the famous couple and their donkey come by. Kind Ox invites Tired Donkey in.
"'Where will my baby be born?' Mary asked. 'Come inside,' Kind Ox called to Tired Donkey. 'There's always room for a little one here.'"
With all the animals surrounding them, Jesus was born in the warmth of the stable.
"That cold winter's night, beneath the star's light...a Little One came for the world."
Such a simply told story, but so profound, with such implication.
I used to teach first grade and we would read lots of different versions of the same story or theme. I still do this today for my own son, who turned 5 right after Christmas. Last year we did the 12 days of Christmas. (He was into counting.) This year, we did the nativity story. This was my favorite version we read.
Animals come to the stable one after another and the kind ox invites each one to come in to share his shelter. Children love this kind of repetition, they feel both empowered by knowing what is going to happen next (another animal will come to the door) and curious (what animal will it be this time?) One theme of the book is that of animals that are usually predator and prey are calling a truce for their mutual benefit of a warm, safe place. That theme will be lost on young children - to them, of course all the animals would stay together to be warm! A theme that does come through loud and clear is kindness and sharing. The ox has a warm place to sleep and invites others to share it with him rather than just keep it to himself.
Finally, donkey comes to the door. Donkey is carrying Mary. Ox invites Donkey and his family in and Mary has baby Jesus during the night. It's a different point of view on Mary and Joseph. Rather than being on the outside with Mary and Joseph wondering where they will stay, we are on the inside safe and warm with Ox, and we see Mary and Joseph on the outside. I think this helps young children understand the predicament Mary and Joseph were in at a very basic level - They needed a warm place to stay and have their baby. Children don't understand taxes, let alone journeying to pay them. Nor do they really understand the concept of an inn or hotel and no one having any openings - it's outside their sphere of understanding. But children understand needing to be safe and warm.
A beautiful book with a beautiful story and message.