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The First Christmas

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  56 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
With words from the King James Bible and illuminated pages of silhouettes set against glowing colours, this volume brings the nativity story to life.
Hardcover, 24 pages
Published October 5th 2006 by Puffin
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Community Reviews

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Sep 06, 2011 Romaine rated it really liked it
This book has been around for years. It was recently updated to this cover from a older cover of red but the story and the pictures remained the same. It tells the great story of the first christmas story with very interesting and creative illustrations. Jan Pienkowski is amazing and through his other books like the nutcracker and Meg and Mog you can see this beautiful work.
Dec 10, 2014 Helen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-buy
Disclaimer: we're a family of atheists. But this book... wow! The illustrations are breathtaking. With the text taken directly from the King James bible, any criticism of the text by other reviewers is misdirected (take it up with the church!). This is just a downright stunning book.
Dec 11, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Text from the King James Bible telling the story of the first Christmas, coupled with wonderful pictures? Yes, please! This is a gorgeous book! The title and embellishments on the cover are in metallic silver, pressed into the blue cloth (there's no dust jacket) and the pictures are wonderful, like watching a shadow puppet play of the nativity. I like how different the pictures are: instead of Mary always being with her head bowed, a veil draped over her, she is depicted as hanging up the ...more
Sep 19, 2014 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
With text from the King James version of the Bible, this picture book tells the nativity story with stateliness and words that will be familiar to many. The great joy of the book is the silhouette illustrations by Pienkowski who has created images that glow on the page. She combines her black silhouettes with colors that shift and seem to be lit from behind. Her detailed cut paper art is awe-inspiring and adds just the right touch of wonder to the story of the birth of Jesus. Recommended for all ...more
Dec 19, 2010 ABC rated it it was amazing
The illustrations in this book are so unusual and cool for a religious book. All the people are in sillhouette--which I like because it allows the child to use his or her imagination. In the picture where the Angel Gabriel appears to Mary, she is hanging up her washing. My son was taken aback and said that is not how it is supposed to be--she is supposed to have her hands folded and praying! So I guess this book is not for traditionalists, lol.

The words are taken from the Bible, but we spent a l
Dec 07, 2014 Jtimko rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: grades 3 through 6.
Uses the words of the Gospels of Luke and Matthew to present the story of the birth of Jesus.
Beautiful paper cut silhouettes relate the story of the Nativity according to the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. They appear to be back-lit which adds to the dramatic effect of the illustrations. Modern day scenes are used to tell the story. Illuminated letters begin the verse on each page. This is a re-issue of a book that was originally published in 1984. If you need Nativity stories, purchase this one.
June Jacobs
Mar 23, 2015 June Jacobs rated it really liked it
The text is the King James Version of the birth of Christ directly from the Bible. The language in this passage is beautiful, in my opinion. The artwork is unique and stunning. This book is probably best suited for older children, ages six to ten or older, because of the formal language patterns and sophisticated artwork.

I borrowed a copy of this book from the Children's section of our local public library.

Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
Amazing illustrations from Pienkowski to bring the story of the birth of Jesus to life (text from the King James Bible- and as such this book probably represents the most direct bible reading I've ever done). The illustrations are intriguing- almost Grecian at times, almost subversive, but the use of silhouette is fantastic.
Feb 01, 2015 Christina rated it really liked it
The silhouette illustrations are beautiful, and he tells the story entirely with verses from the King James Bible.
Nov 05, 2009 Sharon rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-books
I liked it, but Flannery didn't, and considering that it's a kid's book, that's a bit of a fail. I think it was the KJV reading of the story that lost her.
Jenn rated it it was amazing
Jan 15, 2015
Oct 06, 2015 Dianna rated it it was amazing
Illustration is why I took this book out to read. Nothing can compare to his artistry!
Aug 25, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous perfection.
The bible story illustrated. The wording will not be great for smaller children in my opinion.
Courtney rated it liked it
Jan 29, 2015
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Jul 06, 2012
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Nicole Kounavis rated it it was ok
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Emma Burris rated it it was amazing
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Rebecca Mhairi rated it it was amazing
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Jan Michel Pieńkowski is a Polish-born British illustrator and author of children's books. He is probably best known for his Meg and Mog books with writer Helen Nicoll and for his pop-up books, including Haunted House (winner of the 1980 Kate Greenaway Medal), Robot, Dinner Time, Good Night and 17 others.

Pieńkowski illustrated his first book at the age of eight, as a present for his father. During
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