It was so delightful to pull out the boxes of Christmas books! This is always a favorite moment of the Advent season. The Birds of Bethlehem has become one of our favorite Christmas books over the past couple years. Simple and artistic, it tells the Christmas story with a lovely dose of wonder. The book is just right for preschoolers. I can't recommend it more highly. Tomie de Paola is an illustrator with whom I initially underwhelmed. But oh, how far I have come, his simple illustrations and his willingness to tackle Psalms, Saints, religious folk tales and sacred stories have endeared him to me and he is probably one of the best represented illustrators on our shelves.
Isaac and I were inspired to make some art when we read this book for the first time this December. I cut a Styrofoam egg carton to make the stamps for Bethlehem and we dipped them in acrylic paint. The birds and stars are finger painted. There is something so lovely about making something to take us deeper into the book and into the story.