Do you remember singing Christmas carols as a kid? What about this one: “While shepherds washed their socks by night / And sleet fell on the ground…”? Or “We three kings of Orion Tar / Two in a taxi and one in a car…”?
Then there’s the kid who drew a black blob on top of Joseph’s staff in her crib scene. “What’s the black blob for?” asked the teacher. “It’s a flea ‘cause the angel said to take Mary and Jesus and flea into Egypt.”
You won’t find these stories in the book, Bethlehem’s Baby. There, the shepherds are probably barefoot, and the old man hates loud noises at night, so who knows what he’ll make of a heavenly choir? The kings are wise men from a Babylon university. Their research student studied ancient tomes to work out what the bright star meant, but of course, no-one remembers the wise research student.
In another story, a small boy wonders if God told Zechariah to hush when he lost his voice after meeting with an angel. A child in the Temple wonders why God wants smelly pigeons. And a girl asks, “Are we nearly there yet?” as her parents trek from Jerusalem into Egypt.
With forty bed-time, supper-time, nap-time, five-minute read-aloud stories, for Christmas or any other time, illustrated with forty color pictures in classic style, and finished with meticulous author’s notes, Bethlehem’s Baby invites children and their parents into the real, historical, fascinating world of that first Christmas. No fleas, no socks and no taxis, but Roman soldiers march the streets, distant emperors utter decrees, rebellious citizens seek a leader, and a child is born.
Meet the Emperor Augustus’s advisors, the quiet research student helping wise men study stars, the shepherd whose granddad keeps complaining, an Egyptian fisherboy, a Roman soldier, and more in this set of 40 5-minute read-aloud stories based around the events of the Christ Child’s birth in Bethlehem.