The Message of the Birds

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The Message of the Birds

Kate Westerlund
Pictures by Feridun Oral
Michael Neugebauer Publishing Ltd., 2011, 2014

From the dust jacket, “Long ago a special child was born, and animals everywhere heard in his coos a song of blessing and good will for all the creatures of the earth. But now the birds wonder why no one sings the song anymore. The old owl tells them, “People don’t listen. Some think the message is for others and not for them.”

The other birds are determined to bring the message to those they know will listen and understand – the children. And so they fly far and wide each singing the song of joy and peace, passing it on from bird to bird, and from child to child everywhere.”

In this lovely Christmas book, the soft illustrations and quiet text help to remind the reader to pray for the peace of the world. And while the Nativity is lovingly pictured, the Christ Child is mentioned as “Long ago in a simple stable, a child was born.” He is not portrayed as the long-awaited Messiah or the Son of God but as a child who came to bring a blessing to the world. This small detail means the book, and therefore its message is available to anyone of almost any faith because most faiths believe in a single God Who sent a messenger to earth to remind His children of His love for them.

For the kittens (and cats) who love birds, this book is for them – perfect for nap- or bedtime reading to ease the sleeper into peaceful dreams.

Rating 4 out of 5 books for a decidedly non-religious faith-based book.

Reviewer:

reincatSimon

This First Christmas Night

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This First Christmas Night

Laura Godwin
Illustrated by William Low
Feiwel and Friends, 2016

From the dust jacket, “See this small gray donkey, this long dusty road. See this man, Joseph, this woman, Mary. Feel the frost on this clear Bethlehem night.

“Here is the Nativity story brought to life for family time or bedtime. Readers of all ages will embrace this luminous celebration of the miracle of Christmas.”

This is a beautifully quiet book, hitting the high points of the Christmas story – Mary & Joseph traveling to Bethlehem, finding the overcrowded inn, then the stable and the worship of the wise men, shepherds and animals. It’s a good book to read to help kittens wind down after a raucous day opening presents and playing. The lush paintings and few words will gently remind them of why we celebrate Christmas.

Rating 4 out of 5 paws – a beautiful edition to any home library.

Reviewer:

reincatSimon

One Starry Night

one-starry-night-1One Starry Night

Lauren Thompson

Illustrated by Jonathan Bean

Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011

From the dust jacket: “One starry night … little ones everywhere are watched over with care. Most special of all, Mary and Joseph watch over their newborn babe… and the world is filled with love.”

Shhh…this is a very quiet book. If you’re looking for quiet naptime or bedtime reading and want to read about the Christ Child, this is your book. From the three-color (muted blue, black and tan) illustrations to the quiet words, this book is all about love, rest and comfort. It’s written in a unique way, with a poem written under/next to the words of the main story (see the illustration with the cow). If you love the bedtime classic, Goodnight, Moon, you’ll love reading this gentle Nativity story to little ones after all the hustle and bustle of a busy day during the Christmas season.

Rating: 5 paws

reincatReviewer: Simon

Cat in the Manger

manger-aCat in the Manger

Michael Foreman

Henry Holt and Company, 2000

From the dust jacket: “A long time ago in a faraway land, a cat lived in a barn. He had to share it with the other animals: cows and goats, chickens and…mice! But that was all right; he was a good mouser. Then, one wintry night, the door flew open and in came a man and a woman, to take shelter from the snow….”

This short and beautiful book tells the story of the Nativity from a cat’s viewpoint. The cat (and therefore, the reader) doesn’t find out who the little family is that comes to the barn, the reverence with which the story is told is plain. It is a quiet book, with softly colored illustrations that speak of the seriousness (and joy) of the moment. The text is a medium size and easily followed for early readers. Enjoy the quiet joy of the Nativity through the eyes of a cat – and even though cats aren’t mentioned in the Bible as having been present at the Christ Child’s birth, I am 100% positive there was at least one present!

Rating 3 paws

reincatReviewer Simon