Picture Book Review: ‘Twas an Evening in Bethlehem

'Twas an Evening in Bethlehem by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt
‘Twas an Evening in Bethlehem
by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt (Author)Sierra Klein  (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

The child of an innkeeper in Bethlehem shows Mary and Joseph to the stable, bringing them some blankets and cleaning out the animals’ trough to be used as the manger for the baby. In the middle of the night, the child hears a baby crying and sneaks out to the stable to visit the Christ-child. Angels are singing in the heavens, a bright star shines over the stable, and local shepherds come to worship. The child is proud to be a part of the miracle of Jesus’ birth, and keeps the King close in their heart.

This book was so sweet and lovely that it actually made me cry while I was reading it! So adorable, it really touched my heart. Despite the simplicity of the story, it has deep spiritual undertones that are sure to speak to the reader in a profound way.
The story is told in poetry, and the phrases flow smoothly with good rhymes. The meter is consistent and the wording is expressive. The story line is simple and sweet, as the innkeeper’s child helps Mary and Joseph to get settled in the stable and then visits the baby Messiah.

The illustrations are very soft and blurry with a watercolor style and muted colors. It almost looks impressionistic, and is very appropriate for the story. The characters faces are blurred in the illustrations, leaving room for the imagination, and giving the impression of years of history, since the people seem far away in time. I don’t quite know how to describe the style, but I really like it!
Each page has a beautiful green and gold border that makes the text and artwork stand out.

I just loved this sweet Christmas story! And I appreciated the unique idea to retell the Christmas history from the perspective of the innkeeper’s child. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Christmas story quite like this one! It really is a special book.

Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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