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The Fox's Tale: Jesus is Born - Nick Butterworth

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Nick Butterworth, Mick Inkpen / Edition: New edition / Paperback / 32 Pages / Book is published 1996-08-05 by Zondervan Publishing House

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      10.01.2010 10:37
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      Christmas story

      The Fox's Story

      Obviously with me teaching in a school, we are neck deep in Christmas activities, stories and performances right now! I always like to have a selection of books in the reading area which are appropriate for the topic in hand, and this is one of the stories we found ourselves looking at the other day.

      The book was published in the late 1980s but because of the story line, it is quite timeless. It is one of a series of stories which take a look at the life of jesus through the eyes of different animals; as the name suggests this is told by a fox and is the story of the birth of Jesus.

      STORY AND ILLUSTRATIONS

      The story is told in the first person and starts with the fox introducing himself "Hello, I'm a fox". We like this because it's very simply done, and gets our attention, as well as setting the scene. We learn a little bit about the fox and because it's told in a simple way, we do actually like the character and he becomes quite believable.

      The fox tells us that one night he smells the smell of shepherds and reckons there must be lots of sheep. He sees a tiny lamb all alone in the grass and as he walks towards it (presumably wanting to eat it!) there is a flash of light and the air is filled with "shining men"; children do at this stage realise it's angels. The angels speak to the shepherds and tells them to hurry to see Jesus in the stable

      They are excited and run to the town followed by the fox who is afraid of the town. The fox follows the shepherds to a stable where there are other animals and people. Everyone looks happy and no one is afraid. The fox sees the shepherd give the new lamb he had seen earlier to the baby and when they have looked at the baby they leave the stable.

      The fox also leaves the stable and in his matter of fact way he tells the reader that it is a harsh winter and tough for a fox but also tough for the baby king.

      We end the story with a wish to the baby king to keep safe and to have "sweet dreams".

      The book has a two page spread with the text on one side and a full side illustration on the other. The text is also accompanied on the same page by a small illustration. The pictures are simple and easy for children to comment on. There is not too much detail but they perfectly complement the text. The shepherds look like shepherds and Mary is easily identifiable as Mary, which when reading to young children is important so that they are not getting confused with too many "what ifs"!!

      OTHER BITS OF IMFORMATION

      Published: 1988
      Publisher: Marshall Pickering
      ISBN (hardback) 0551015802

      The book is still in print and is widely available online and in store.




      ALSO IN THE SERIES:

      The other three books in the series are:

      * the Cat's Story
      * The mouse's Story
      * The Magpie's story

      The three books together cover the wedding of Cana, Jesus and the storm and the story of Zacchaeus. I am not sure which one is which but a quick search could clear this up

      VERDICT

      A lovely Christmas story which children will easily identify with, especially with the recent showing of Fantastic Mr Fox!- they seem to be prepared for foxes talking.

      The text is large and simple, the illustrations have enough detail to maintain interest but not so much that children become confused.

      A useful and recommended book to have around at this time of the year.

      Recommended.

      Thanks for reading.

      Daniela x

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