First sentence: And there were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Premise/plot: The first half of Nativity is an abridgment of the the nativity narrative found in Luke 2 in the King James Version. It is an abridgment:
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. KJV
And there were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Rylant's adaptation
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. KJV
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them. Rylant's adaptation
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. KJV
The angel said, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy. For unto you this day is born a savior. And this shall be a sign to you: you will find the babe lying in a manger. Rylant's adaptationIt is not the whole narrative. Rylant does not include every verse, and she does abbreviate the sentences a good bit. You may notice, for example, that she does not include the phrase, "which is Christ the Lord."
The second half of the book races ahead to the start of Jesus' ministry on earth. She includes an excerpt from the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5. (The full sermon is Matthew 5-7). Again she is selective in what she shares:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. KJV
Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Rylant's adaptationShe includes verses: Matthew 5:3, 5:4, 5:5, and 5:8. She does not include: Matthew 5:6, 5:7, 5:9, 5:10.
The book ends with those four "blessed" statements. No further explanation or commentary provided.
My thoughts: Whether or not you like or love this one may depend entirely on how you react to the illustrations. I did like the illustrations for the first half of the book. I liked the shepherds, the sheep, the angels. I liked the simplicity of it. I wasn't as impressed with the illustrations for the second half. I wasn't sure if Rylant was bringing us forward in time...or not. One of the spreads shows a modern house with a Christmas tree, Christmas wreath, Christmas lights, candle, and smoking chimney. In this same spread there seems to be a sheep hanging out by a garbage bin. I could be wrong on what it is supposed to be. It could be a primitive shed or barn. But the spread that bothers me most--puzzles me most--is two men in profile on a beach in an ocean scene wearing tricorne hats.
Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 6 out of 10
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible