Review Blog

Dec 11 2019

Sarah's two Nativities by Janine M. Fraser and Helene Magisson

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Black Dog Books , 2019. ISBN: 9781925381795. hbk., 32pp.
This is the story of Sarah, daughter of Sadek and Anna, granddaughter of Ali and Azar, and granddaughter of Maria and Paul.
In Sarah's house the Bible and the Koran sit side by side on the shelf, each full of stories which her grandmothers tell her when they come to visit. Sarah's favourites are those about the birth of Baby Jesus, but she is confused because even though parts of each story is similar to the other, there are parts that are different. "How can they both be true?" she asks.
Sarah's situation is not an uncommon one - there are many families where there are differing belief systems, and these are often highlighted at this time of the year. Similarly, in our classrooms we share stories about the Nativity with children who might hear a different version at home. How can the two be reconciled? Grandmother Azar provides an answer that satisfies Sarah and celebrates the richness of the two cultures her family straddles.
This is a beautifully illustrated story that is sensitively told and acknowledges that this is a special time of year for many, not just Christians, and that there can be bonds that are stronger than anything else.
Barbara Braxton

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