Just in time for Christmas (I saw Christmas trees at Wal-Mart today, so it must be Christmas season!), Sally Michael has written a new children's book about the birth of Jesus. Michael, along with illustrator Fred Apps, have produced a simple, beautiful book to share with young children. Jesus Is Most Special will grab young readers with the beautiful illustrations and give adults a nice tool for teaching the Christmas story.
Michael and Apps cover the messianic prophecies, the annunciation, the journey to Bethlehem, Jesus' birth, and the visits of the shepherds and wise men. (Even though she doesn't directly address the passage of time between Jesus' birth and the wise men's visit, I like the fact that in the illustration with the wise men, Jesus appears to be a toddler or young boy.) Each page is accompanied by a scripture or Christmas carol to emphasize the theme. Most importantly, Michael wraps it up with a call: "We must tell [people around the world] about Jesus, the Savior for all kinds of people, who is the most special of all."
Apps's illustrations have a classic, simple feel. They reminded me of old Sunday school literature (in a nostalgic, classic way). Michael's prose is simple and clear, and her teaching aids help the parent or other adult readers. Michael suggests that you read it again and again, to instill the message of Jesus' birth in the hearts of young readers. Sounds like a worthy goal to me!
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!