When I was little I had just one Christmas book and this was it.
For years I couldn’t remember enough about it to track it down. One day, in my first year of teaching, I spotted it in a bookshop. But for some reason I didn’t get it – thinking it perhaps silly that I shouldn’t get a picture book for myself when I had no justification for work, as I was teaching strapping teenagers about philosophical and ethical issues, and had no actual children. I changed my mind a few weeks later but I couldn’t find it, nor could I remember the author. I always bought picture books for myself after that and learnt a very valuable lesson – that you should always buy a book you want when you see it, or take details photographs of the title and ISBN. Because most likely, especially if it’s in a display, you’ll never remember enough of it to track it down.
Years later I was reading Miffy to my son. There is a picture of an angel in it and as soon as I saw it I knew that the Christmas book was by the same person. So, hooray hooray, I ordered a copy that day even though it was the middle of June. It has been a treasured item in our household since.
It tells the story of the nativity beautifully and, even if like me you are not religious but want to reflect on the story, or want to discuss it with your children, then this is where you should come.
Last year, they released this hardback version to mark an incredible 50 years since it was first published. It’s sometimes hard to justify having two copies of a book, but with this an exception. I simply had to have both.