Monday, December 12, 2011

13th December

An Australian Christmas Part 2.
Two Australian books that look at the nativity story:
1. The Nativity by Julie Vivas
In this book Julie Vivas has illustrated the nativity story using the Gospel of St Luke from the King James Bible version with characters who look very human and earthy. There is no mistaking Mary's pregnancy and there is no doubt that Julie Vivas is the illustrator. This book was first published in 1986 and has had many reissues with numerous covers. The biblical language is old fashioned and may be hard for very young children to understand but those who know the story are more than absorbed by the illustrations and the lull of the reader's voice. Who can resist an angel in Dr Martens? What joy!

It is interesting that a new, albeit not illustrated by an Australian, nativity story has been issued this year (The Story of Christmas by Pamela Dalton), so many years later, that also uses the King James version and relies on its amazing illustrations to relay the magic and awe of the birth of Jesus. Publishers must still think it is relevant.

2. Applesauce and the Christmas Miracle by Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King
This is a modern twist on the nativity story set in Australia among droughts and bushfires and told from a pig, Applesauce's point of view. The text is so far removed from that in the Julie Vivas story, but the analogy is not missed by very young children and we had fun listing the similarities and differences.

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