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Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale Board book – October 7, 2008
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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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I'm not sure why the top critical review is on here, as the reviewer wrote that baby Jesus is not shown...this is not actually true. Baby Jesus is shown with Mary and Joseph, along with the animals...it's a touching story about a kind ox who makes room for every creature smaller than himself. Each animal, in turn, is gracious to the smaller animal who comes in. For example, the mouse shows up, and the cat promises not to hurt him, so the mouse joins the group. Eventually, they make room for the donkey, who is carrying Mary. Jesus is born amid these gentle animals. This is a really nice book and I would certainly recommend it as a good pick for the Christmas season...