Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Book Review: Away in a Manger

Away in a Manger. Scholastic. 2018. Little Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Away in a manger, no crib for a bed. The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

Premise/plot: This is a picture book adaptation of the Christmas carol, "Away in a Manger." The picture book features the first two verses of the traditional carol. It does not feature the third verse or stanza. (Though I think the third stanza was added later to the song and was not part of the original song.) The illustrations are part of the "Bible bb's" brand. Perhaps the cutesy illustrations will appeal to a certain audience.

My thoughts: Apparently "Bible bb's" is a brand. The brand boasts, "Bible bb's are the cutest most lovable Bible heroes that enable faith based families to bring the stories of the Bible to life and spread the Good News."

It isn't surprising that the website is all about selling the brand, selling products. They feature collectible figures, plush toys, and two books--so far. The collectible figures include: baby Jesus, adult Jesus, a burning bush, Peter, Goliath, Mary, Moses, Noah, Paul, and young David. The plush figures include: David, Goliath, Mary, Noah, and Paul. The other book is "Jesus Loves Me."

Do Christian children need "Christian" toys to play with? Is there any value in having a collectible figure of your Lord and Savior?

It would make sense to have play figures for the Nativity story. Mary. Joseph. Baby Jesus. Shepherds. Sheep. Wise men. Camels. Angels. Donkey. (Other animals, etc.) Children can "act out" the nativity story as they prepare to celebrate the Savior's birth. Not that having a nativity in your home--child friendly or not--is a necessity. It isn't. But these toys don't really seem to be filling that need.

We have Mary and baby Jesus. (Why no Joseph?????)

We have Noah--all on his own.

We have adult Jesus and the apostles Peter and Paul. (The disciple Peter is holding a key). (Paul is holding a book--not a scroll, but a book.)

We have David and Goliath.

We have Moses and the burning bush.

The book itself is nice enough, pleasant. I'm just not convinced that the toys are a good--or necessary--thing.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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