“A beautiful, stirring, original reflection on the Nativity that speaks to the experience of motherhood.”
The opening and closing phrase of “Sing out, my soul, the wonder . . .” captures the essence of the book and its message succinctly and poignantly. Together, Patterson and Aisato work in seamless harmony to tell the story of the Nativity in an original and stirring way that speaks specifically to Mary’s predicament as well as the joy and wonder that any mother may feel as she gazes at her newborn child and marvels at the miracle that is that tiny life. Told from Mary’s perspective, in poetic text the story reads between the lines of the biblical account to explore the feelings of Mary’s parents—heartbroken and unbelieving— Joseph—doubtful then doting—the shepherds—”dazed”— and Mary herself, reminding readers of their humanity in both text and illustration. Aisato’s illustrations, rich in color and emotion, feel authentic, simultaneously raw and down to earth, with just a touch of the idyllic and imaginative as blossoming flowers envelope a smiling Mary as she cradles the baby Jesus.
Sing out, my soul, the wonder . . .
Mary’s baby has arrived, and she can’t contain her joy! As Joseph sleeps, she examines her newborn’s tiny mouth, his wild hair, his little hands. Yet what’s most wondrous is that this child is not just Mary’s own but a gift that God has shared with everyone.
Poetic text by Newbery Medalist Katherine Paterson and striking images by Lisa Aisato reveal the intimacy of that unforgettable night long ago, when the mother of Jesus was the first to welcome him into a world he would change forever.
The Night of His Birth is a Junior Library Guild Selection.
Katherine Paterson is one of the world’s most celebrated and beloved authors. Among her many awards are two Newberys and two National Book Awards, and she was recently named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. She has been published in more than 22 languages in a variety of formats, from picture books to historical novels.