Title: The Promise and the Light
By: Katy Morgan
Published by and available from The Good Book Company
Best bit: 25 short chapters telling the story of Jesus’ birth in an imaginative, but true-to-the-Bible way, perfect for children aged 5-11 years old
Worst bit: no pictures, and I would love an audio version!
Although we know this story (or at least think we do), this book goes out of its way to help us enter it in a fresh way. The mysterious figure on the front cover, the chapter headings (The First Moment of the Rest of My Life (not what you think it is!), Not Something a Bandit Would Say), and the first line of the Prologue: “The land was burning” all help us enter this familiar tale as a story to be explored in a new way. And that’s just perfect for Advent, or any time of the year when we want to approach part of the Bible we’re familiar with.
Many children will feel they know the Christmas story, but this will allow them (and their parents/grandparents/godparents!) to explore this essential story together again.
The story is told from the personal perspectives of Mary, Joseph and Zechariah (I would have loved to hear from Elizabeth!). Straight away the book takes you into how they felt, and what they thought, you feel as if you are experiencing the events with them!
I particularly liked the way the author, Katy Morgan, has woven in many stories from Israel’s history in the Old Testament, as well as lots of cultural details such as the Biblical feast days. There’s also a beautiful, Tolkein-esque map and a notes section where Katy details where the various people and events in the story come from, in terms of what’s in the Bible, what we know from other sources and what she’s added, which is very helpful.
If you get this as your Advent read (as a parent or just to read to yourself!), I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!