25 Stories of Advent--Dec. 5

"And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For He hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for behold,
from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed."
                                                                  (Stories from the Bible, North-South Books, 2002, p. 88)

As we read through the Nativity story for the month of December, it can be a challenge to find a storybook that features each of the components of the Biblical account of the coming of the Christ child.

Tonight we'll be reading about how Mary praised God when Elizabeth said that Mary was blessed among women because she believed God and was the one chosen to give birth to the Messiah. Her song of praise is one of the most beautiful passages in the New Testament, but it isn't highlighted in many of the children's accounts of the Christmas story.

So our book for this evening isn't a specifically Christmas book. I picked it up because it had this particular passage that I was looking for, but I can see that our family will have many great storytimes around this book.

Stories from the Bible is a re-telling of stories from throughout scripture. It's translated from the original German storybook (which was adapted from the King James Version of the Bible), so some of the language is uncommon, but I think that adds to the awe-someness of the stories. Stories from the Bible is illustrated by award-wining artist Lisbeth Zwerger.

We'll also be reading a book that I found at Dollar Tree, of all places. The Birth of Jesus by Larry Carney is a sweet rhyming re-telling of the Christmas story (my kindergartner especially likes rhymes as he's been learning about them in school recently.) I appreciate how, in very few words, the story tells all of the essential aspects of Jesus' birth. The illustrations even accurately portray the wisemen visiting Jesus in his home, not in the manger.

A bonus with this book is the read-along CD that comes with it. The CD also contains a number of very traditional children's songs such as Go Tell it on the Mountain, Jesus Loves the Little Children, Oh How I Love Jesus. I've been lamenting the fact that our kids don't learn these classics at church anymore, so I like that I can expose the boys to them this way. If this book isn't currently available at Dollar Tree, you can find it on Amazon.com.

What song from your childhood do you want to pass along to the next generation?

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