It was a crackly, cold Christmas Eve. I forget when, exactly. It was the year of the bikes--t one or even two bikes to assemble after kids were in bed, but three. I left Scott doggedly screw-drivering bike number three and stepped out for some fresh air. My husband is a miracle worker, he actually understands those teenie tiny, half-Sanskrit, half-Mandarin instructions. I stole one of Santa's cookies and crept out into the farmyard for some fresh air. It was cold, so I decided to check on the animals in the barn, t that they needed care, but it's a mom thing--a mother hen watchfulness I've never grown out of. Usually I whistle when out in the yard, but the stillness of the stars enveloped me in a cocoon of peace. In the distance I could hear church bells ring out their midnight peal of joy. Christmas had begun. I stopped just outside the barn to listen. As the echoes died, I stood still in shocked surprise. I thought, --I thought, I had heard voices. Thus begins this beloved retelling of the Nativity story from the least of all things--animals. Each one happily relates their ancestors' gifts given to the Christ child so long ago. All is peaceful until the rat appears, he wants to look at the baby. The animals are outraged, how can they let such a filthy creature even approach a newborn baby? Telemachus, a wise old mule solves the problem. The author then has a problem of her own, should she share this miracle with others? This heartwarming story is illustrated with vivid, beautiful, jewel-toned illustrations. Personally, I think a couple of them are worth hanging upon a wall, but then, I'm prejudiced.
Mama Joy is mom to only six children. She hopes the birth of this book will be just as much fun and joy as her other blessings.