The Child in the Manger
Child in the Manger
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Liesbet Slegers
ISBN 9781605370842
Clavis, 2010.
5 stars
Keywords: child-manger christmas family jesus liesbet-slegers nativity

The Child in the Manger
by Liesbet Slegers

Even the toddler in your life can understand the story of Jesus’ birth with this inviting picture book. The very brief text and bright, festive colors invite them to experience the central story of Christmas.

Once they find shelter in a stable and their baby arrives, Mary and Joseph come across as any loving parents with a newborn child would: “They hugged and kissed their little baby. And they covered him with straw to keep him warm.” The artist portrays the shepherds and the Three Kings in childlike drawings with bold outlines and happy round faces. When the kings give the baby Jesus their gifts, the shepherds give him “a cuddle,” just as all visitors to a new baby would. In the penultimate picture, everyone mentioned in the Nativity gathers together (including the horse and cow). The shepherds and kings look in from the sides, almost as if they were peering onstage in a Christmas pageant. Liesbet Slegers likens Christmas to a birthday party: “When you get a Christmas present, it also celebrates the birthday of Jesus.” Even youngest children can understand that analogy. Slegers makes this Holy child seem just like them.

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