Holy Night and Little Star: A Story for Christmas

WaterBrook. Sept. 2023. 40p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780593578049.
K-Gr 3–This quiet, unique retelling of the nativity story shows the perspective and perseverance of Little Star, a lowly celestial being who is nervous about her world changing due to Holy Night. Little Star loves her low place in the sky, shining her soft and gentle light. When Maker, a genderless abstractly depicted god, begins recruiting helpers from the sky, Little Star doesn’t want to participate. However, come Holy Night, Little Star is relieved as heralding in a king and shining on the newborn messiah come naturally to her, especially as she looks into the eyes of the baby Jesus and sees her beloved Maker reflected therein. Characters and beings are not named (angels are “singers” and Mary and Joseph are “a young couple”), so readers unfamiliar with the Christmas story may not make the connection without scaffolding. As in Bare Tree and Little Wind, Perkins and Le bring religious stories to a broader audience, using straightforward, accessible language and short sentences. Stunning illustrations further enable this reach. Amid the dark palette and layered landscapes, the shining round faces of the sky beings stand out, adorned in sparkling head gear and flowing robes. Abstract colorful shapes that look like they could be found under a microscope float through the air, adding substance and mystique to the night sky. The holy family has brown skin and dark hair.
VERDICT While it may not appeal to all readers, those already familiar with or curious about the Biblical nativity story will find a delightful read.

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