The Nativity story takes center stage in many of these Christmas books, and each takes a different perspective of the birth of baby Jesus.
Based on Emily Belle Freeman’s “A Christ-Centered Christmas,” “Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas” is a picture book that explores seven aspects of the Nativity, including an innkeeper, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, shepherds, angels and the wise men. With each, there is a scripture, a question and a proposed activity that can be done over seven days or a longer period of time.
The authors write in the introduction that they hope that readers “would come to discover what it might have been like to have been there on the night Jesus was born.”
With the thoughtful questions, illustrations and invitations to act, this picture book shares the Nativity story in a unique way.
“ANGELS FORETOLD OF BABY JESUS,” by Dona Wilding Haws, illustrated by Lisa Dzierzon, Cedar Fort, $14.99
“Angels Foretold of Baby Jesus” shares about the prophecies of Jesus Christ’s birth in both the Bible and Book of Mormon. It explores the words and experiences of Isaiah, Lehi, Nephi King Benjamin, Samuel the Lamanite, Zacharias, Mary and Joseph, each with scripture references and illustrations of the events.
“THE GIFTS OF THE NATIVITY,” by Jeana James and illustrated by Sarah C. Nightingale, Cedar Fort, $14.99
Author Jeana James looks at 10 different elements and people in the Nativity and shares correlations for life today in “The Gifts of the Nativity.” From the stable’s protection to the wise men’s best gifts and Jesus, “who gives us hope,” she offers ways to help apply them. Scripture references are listed in the back of the book.
The illustrations share beautiful landscapes with artistically done text throughout.
“MY NATIVITY ABC’s,” by Esther Yu and illustrated by Alex Worthen, Plain Sight, $14.99
From A for angel and Z for zzz’s, “My Nativity ABC’s” shares 26 words associated with the Nativity story. Each has an accompanying illustration, and it’s presented in rhyming pairs. Despite a few of the words being a bit of a stretch to fill out the alphabet, it’s a fun way to learn about the story of Jesus’ birth.
“THE NATIVITY PAGEANT,” by Neil K. Johnson, Cedar Fort, $4.99, 32 pages
This is a script for a Nativity pageant, whether at home in a large room or at a church presentation on a stage. It includes parts taken from the King James Version of the Bible, simple actions and stage directions and lists of necessary props for each scene. The story is told in six scenes and can accommodate casts from six people up to 25 people.
In all, the pageant is scripted for 15 minutes, and times are noted for each scene. Optional additional hymns are listed in an appendix. This is a great resource to help present the Nativity story, whether at home or for a group.
Hare, Mouse and Squirrel are preparing for Christmas Eve, with Mouse trying to find a last-minute gift for Hare. Mouse finds a sick swallow in the snow and the trio bring her back to nurse her. As they do, they learn unique lessons about gift-giving and service and how the best presents aren’t always gift-wrapped.
Author Lezlie Evans, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who lives in Virginia, will be at the King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m.
“THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL: Hans Christian Anderson’s Classic Tale,” retold by David Warner, paintings by Greg Newbold, Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Shadow Mountain, $18.99
This version of Hans Christian Anderson’s story of a little girl who sells matches on a cold Christmas Eve was written for the 2016 Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert and was narrated by Rolando Villazon.
The story is of the girl who lights her matches to see miraculous things — a warm fire, a table with a feast — and she feels, for once, that she is not alone.
The richly done paintings focus on light and a reminder to share warmth and light this season.
Artist Greg Newbold will be at Deseret Book's Flagship store, 45 W. South Temple, 5-7 p.m, on Saturday, Dec. 16.