How Many Miles to Bethlehem?
by Kevin Crossley-Holland
Illustrated by Peter Malone
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, 2004
I am Mary. Tight as a drum. Round as the lady moon calling out to me.” Kevin Crossley-Hollands’s vibrant retelling of the Nativity story begins with the voice of the pregnant Mary and ends with the voice of the “baby who will cradle the world.” Each two-page spread moves the story forward from a new perspective: the innkeeper, the ox, the donkey, the brightest star, the Wise Men, the Angels, and others, including King Herod, who threatens the newborn baby whom others would call “king.” Herod’s threat is an unusual element in a picture-book presentation of the Nativity story, one that provides reference to the broader context in which the story of Jesus’ life takes place. It’s a single ominous note in a glorious celebration magnificently complemented by Peter Malone’s radiant paintings. © Cooperative Children's Book Center