My kids have a Christmas Pageant this coming Friday at their preschool, and they are SO excited about it. Each class has its own songs to sing, and one of my 4-year-old’s songs is “The Friendly Beasts.” It is an old English Christmas carol and while I’d heard of it before this year I had never heard it sung. Well, now (thanks to the CD of the pageant songs we have in the car) I have heard it A MILLION TIMES. It’s a good thing I like it. I am especially partial to it, though, when my sweet little girl sings it for me 🙂
That brings me to our book for today: Tomie dePaola’s The Friendly Beasts: an old English Christmas Carol. The book combines dePaola’s signature illustrations (think Strega Nona) with the text of this beautiful carol telling the nativity story through the voices of the animals who were there to witness it: the donkey, the cow, the sheep, and the dove.
Tomie dePaola apparently has many, many books fit for the season; check out author and blogger Elizabeth Foss’s post on the topic here. We have a couple of them, which we’ve received as Christmas gifts from one of my kids’ godmothers. I hope to check out more in the future.
In the meantime, I can’t wait to see my 4-year-old as a donkey, cow, or sheep, singing her heart out!