Voices of Christmas--Book and CD   -     By: Nikki Grimes, Eric Velasquez
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Voices of Christmas--Book and CD

ZonderKidz / 2009 / Hardcover

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CBD Stock No: WW711926

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Product Description

Listen in as Gabriel paces the halls of heaven, pondering God's message to Mary; rejoice with Elizabeth and Zechariah as their "impossible" prayers are answered; and join the shepherds as they shout for joy! The award-winning poet offers a fresh vision of Christmas for 4- to 7-year-olds and their delighted parents. 32 pages, hardcover with read-along CD from Zondervan.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 32
Vendor: ZonderKidz
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 11.00 X 8.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0310711924
ISBN-13: 9780310711926
Availability: In Stock
Ages: 4-7

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Publisher's Description

Step into the shoes of Mary, Joseph, the Innkeeper, Elizabeth, the Shepherds, and more as we poetically recount the wonder of the birth of Jesus through the eyes of those who were witness. Audio CD included.

Author Bio

New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the 2016 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award and the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her distinguished works include ALA Notable book What is Goodbye?, Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade, and Coretta Scott King Author Honor books Jazmin's Notebook, Talkin' About Bessie, Dark Sons, The Road to Paris, and Words with Wings. Creator of the popular Meet Danitra Brown, Ms. Grimes lives in California.

Eric Velasquez, the son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents, was born in Spanish Harlem and grew up in Harlem in New York City. As a child, his love for doodling and drawing was strongly encouraged by his mother. From his grandmother he inherited a love of music and from his father he developed a love of movies. Growing up in this setting, Eric says, 'Becoming an artist was a natural choice for me. I have never thought of being anything else.'


Voices of Christmas by Nikki Grimes is a creative retelling of the birth of Christ that includes multiple "voices" of Christmas, each page highlighting a different character in the Christmas story. The headlines of each page are sections of Scripture, and then the story shares an inner-monologue from the character represented in Scripture. Examples include the angel Gabriel, a woman who sees Mary and Joseph leave for Bethlehem, the shepherds, the innkeeper, and King Herod.

The colors of the book often are dark greys, blues, or browns, which is effective when highlighting the morning star or the aura around the Christ child. The exception to this are the two pages devoted to Elizabeth, mother of John, which are vibrant and favor yellow, gold and white.

The story concludes focusing on "You" and includes the reader in the storytelling, encouraging him to identify with one of the people highlighted in the book. Beware, that while Scripture supports some of the monologues in the story, the majority are fictional and not actually found in the New Testament. The book is appropriate for the 4-7 age range. – Emily Moore, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Editorial Reviews

Grimes presents 14 poems, each preceded by a Bible verse, telling the story of the Nativity through the voices of Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, the innkeeper, Herod, and so on. The poems, mostly unrhymed free verse, use simple language and a rolling rhythm that makes them a pleasure to read aloud. Gaspar, one of the Wise Men, begins his verse with 'All those years of poring over/charts and scrolls on astronomy,/then suddenly, it was as if/the Morning Star/leapt from the page/and rose into the sky.' The realistic paintings, rendered in muted nighttime shades of blue, gray, brown, and yellow, depict intense people in the midst of a momentous event, their glowing faces bowed in reverence or raised to the heavens. This lovely and heartfelt book adds a deeper perspective to the oft-told story and will enhance most holiday collections.--Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library -- School Library Journal

Grimes uses her talent as a poet to retell the Nativity story from several different viewpoints, each one a distinct voice with its own style. Fourteen poems in free verse convey the story, from the announcement of the impending birth by the angel Gabriel to the final poem directed to readers. The attractive design includes a double-page spread for each character, with a short Bible verse and the poem set in gold type against dark backgrounds and the illustration of the character attractively integrated into the spread. Each character is a real person with his or her own concerns and fears, and the whole of the Nativity story is conveyed through the sum of their individual stories. Velasquez's striking, dramatic illustrations add to the personality of the characters, who are clearly of Middle Eastern ethnicity. (CD) (Picture book/religion. 6 & up) -- Kirkus Reviews

Product Reviews

4.5 Stars Out Of 5
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(5 out of 5)
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  1. midwest
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Poetic writing, beautiful illustrations!
    November 19, 2011
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    We LOVED this Christmas book, it is seriously one of the best Christmas book's we have ever read. I love how each person in the book has a 2 page spread. The poetry and illustrations are wonderful and amazing. This book is just simply the best out there! In Voices of Christmas you get to really look inside the person and read their thoughts about the wonderful miracle that was about to take place. I'm so glad to have this book in our Christmas book library! The poetic writing and the beautiful illustrations make this book the whole package!!!!

    Plus as a wonderful bonus you get a CD reading of the book to take with you in the car or would be perfect for the classroom listening center (in a Sunday school room or parochial school)

    thank you so very much Zondervan for sending me a review copy we will cherish if forever.
  2. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    December 21, 2009
    Gina Vinkavich
    Excellent book. I bought this and wrote on each page, where the detail could be found in the bible. Although it states that it is written for kids ages 4-7, I gave it to my 9 year old niece, and think it is appropriate for all ages.
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