The Shepherd Girl of Bethlehem by Carey Morning and Alan Marks

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The Shepherd Girl of Bethlehem by Carey Morning and Alan Marks

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: The nativity story, told from the point of view of a little girl who helps her father tend his sheep. A rather sweet story and nice to read aloud.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2011
Publisher: Lion Hudson
ISBN: 978-0745962320

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The little shepherd girl is the daughter of a shepherd. She helps her father in the hills, tending the sheep, but only during the day for at night she's told it's too dark and is sent to bed in their house to sleep whilst he watches over the sheep in the hills. But one night she finds it isn't dark at all, and the light from a star is shining so brightly it seems like the whole world is lit up. So she sneaks out of her house and goes into the hills to find her father.

She calls for him from the hills but he isn't there, and then she sees him hurrying away with a group of other shepherds, so she continues to chase after him, slipping into the warmth of the stable by the animals yet still wondering where her father is. When she calls for him again she is led forward, through the crowd of people there, to see a radiant newborn baby.

I liked this story, with the sweet little girl who (rather naughtily, it must be said!) sneaks out to follow her father. As she makes her way up into the hills the sounds of the night follow her, with trees going clackety-clack, the grass making a whispering whish which is lovely to read aloud and helps give a sense of place to little ones as you're reading aloud. The girl runs on through the night, trying to catch up with her father until, of course, she discovers him in the stable and meets the newborn baby, Jesus.

The illustrations seem to match the story well, with soft undefined lines and lovely watercolour washes. The night time pictures are well drawn, with a wonderful sense of the light coming from the star in the sky and then the contrast of the dark night with the warmth and glow of the stable. Although this is a little girl from hundreds of years ago, there's still the sense that she's just like any child now as we see her having fun bouncing on the sacks of wool.

This is a lovely story to share aloud, especially for Christian families looking for something a little different from the usual nativity story.

For another different version of the Christmas story try The Fourth King by Ted Sieger

Buy The Shepherd Girl of Bethlehem by Carey Morning and Alan Marks at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Shepherd Girl of Bethlehem by Carey Morning and Alan Marks at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Shepherd Girl of Bethlehem by Carey Morning and Alan Marks at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Shepherd Girl of Bethlehem by Carey Morning and Alan Marks at Amazon.com.


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