Author: Kimberly Rinehart
Illustrator: Georgia Rettmer
Publisher: It Takes Two
Audience: This book is wonderful for all ages and illustrations will be especially appealing for young children.
Summary: Remember the Manger was originally a Christmas card and became a song when the verse was set to music. Nearly a decade later, several pages of additional verse were added and Remember the Manger was published. The book features rhyming verse that reminds us to remember and think about the true meaning of Christmas. It includes parts of the Christmas story as told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (e.g. the stable, the shepherds and wisemen) as well as beautiful text about the feeling of hope, the joy of Mary and Joseph, etc. The illustrations are beautifully created with torn paper and feature a group of children accompanied by an angel who shows them the beautiful parts of the Christmas story.
Literary elements at work in the story: Remember the Manger is a sweet and simple telling of the Christmas story. The text and illustrations make the story feel very personal and familiar, especially for a child. Flipping through the book, a child will see pictures of a group of children who all look different and have different abilities pausing to remember the real meaning of Christmas.
Perspective on gender/race/culture/economic/ability: No statements about ability or disability are explicitly made in this book. What is truly wonderful about it is the subtlety with which it conveys the importance of equality. The illustrations feature a group of children all of whom look different- they are of different gender, race, height, weight, hair color, one wears glasses and one is in a wheelchair. Without any words, this book will speak volumes to children who feel different. We are all children of God and we all share equally in the hope and glory of the birth of Jesus.
Scripture: Luke 1:1-4, Luke 2:1-20, Luke 2:40, Matthew 1:18-2:12 (compare this telling to that of Luke), John 3:1
Theology: In the craziness and materialism of the Christmas season, it is easy for us to forget what we are supposed to be honoring and celebrating. As Christmas becomes more about buying gifts and spending money it is critical that we remember the manger. Christmas is about the birth of Christ the Lord our Savior and the story of this birth belongs to all of us. It belongs to all of us regardless of ability or appearance. We must remember it, remember the hope found in Jesus Christ and spread the gift of God’s great light.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Let’s look through the pictures in this book again. Which one is your favorite? Why?
- How do the pictures change the way you think about the story or the meaning it has for you?
- How was this version of the Christmas story different than other versions you have read or heard?
- How do you think Mary and Joseph felt when their son was born?
- Why did the wisemen and shepherds travel so far to see and adore this baby they had never met?
- When Jesus was born the cold lonely darkness was replaced by the gift of light. Why?
Review prepared by Erin Mills, MACE, Entering Cohort Fall 2007
Remember the Manger by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.