Review Blog

Nov 13 2019

The first Christmas illus. by Jess Racklyeft

cover image

Penguin, 2019. ISBN: 9780143796909.
The First Christmas is a beautifully illustrated book, that tells a children's version of the story of the Nativity.
The story is told in a simple way that will allow children of many ages to understand and engage with the text. It provided the reader and listener with the key points, however does not make it out to be a religious story, allowing families of all faiths and beliefs to read and enjoy this story.
Jess Racklyeft has done the most beautiful job of illustrating this book, using water colour and acrylic to provide texture and shade to her images.
The characters have nice expressions and the animals are very cute too! The bright new star to signify the birth radiates on many pages, with Jess Racklyeft giving it a prominent place when necessary.
This is a story that I hadn't really told my children for a long time, and both of them were interested and engaged with this book. They loved the illustrations and asked lots of questions throughout the story. Miss 5 particularly loved the animals that are throughout the pages, naming each one she saw and then counted them on the second read. Master 9 remembered hearing the story of the Nativity when he was younger - he said that this story filled in the gaps from what he had forgotten. Overall this book is illustrated well, the story is nicely written and was easy to understand. This would be a good book to add to any collection of Christmas themed stories.
Lauren Fountain

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