Set to the tune of "The Friendly Beasts" this gentle re-telling of the Christmas story repeats the refrain, "This is the stable, dusty and brown." This is the stable where the gentle animals welcome the Christ-child, this is the star that guides the way, and these are the parents who snuggle their baby. Pastor Amy sings the story.
For centuries the Holy Family has been depicted as blond, European-ish white people. So it's refreshing to have contemporary illustrators and authors creating picture books about the nativity that imagine a Mary and Joseph who look like people of the global majority. Pastor Amy sings through this version of Silent Night, illustrated by Lara Hawthorne.
In Karin Holsiger Sherman's Candle Walk: A Bedtime Prayer to God, a small child goes on a nighttime prayer walk. With each page, the child notices the gentle sounds and sights of nature as it settles down to rest. Sherman's book follows the pattern of the office of Compline, a practice of reflection and meditation at the close of the day.
The second in our series exploring the beauty of the darkness is Lupita N'yongo's book Sulwe. Sulwe compares her midnight skin to the dawn-colored skin of her sister and despairs. She wishes that she too could be light and bright. Then she flies through the night with a star and discovers how much light and dark need each other and how to love her own dark beauty.