Thursday, November 14, 2013

The First Christmas Night {A Holiday Gift Guide Review & Giveaway}

**Book received for review.

The First Christmas Night is a beautiful retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem so long ago. The poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and winds though Christ’s birth, the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the Wise Men.  The simple, yet elegant, verses will appeal to little ones and are accompanied by the rich acrylic illustrations of Christine Kornacki.
Twas the very first Christmas when all through the town not a creature was stirring—there was not a sound.The moon shining bright in the heavens so highgave the look of midday to the Bethlehem sky.The animals were nestled in warm, cozy placeswith looks of contentment on each of their faces.

About the Author
Keith Christopher is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and educator, and he has served as editor and producer for several major music publishers. In addition to writing and studio producing, Keith is on the faculty at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with his wife and two children.

About the Illustrator 
At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children's books began to take shape, including illustrating the best-selling The Sparkle Box for Ideal's Children's Books. Christine's recent work also includes illustrating the six-book series for the American Girl historical doll characters Marie-Grace and Cecile.  She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut. 

My Thoughts:

As a Christian woman, I think the story of that very first Christmas is one of the most beautiful stories ever written. As a child, while I knew the story, I didn't appreciate it as much as I do now...I knew it was important, I knew it was a must know story- but reading the story straight out of the bible just did not appeal to me. It was overwhelming, more difficult to understand and as a young child- lacked the visual appeal children love. My son-while an excellent reader- is also a super picky one. He needs a story that will catch his eye and capture his interest. We'd tried a few other books on the subject in the past, but really never found any that we truly love...until this one!

One of my absolute favorite Christmas poems has always been, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'. Isn't it everyone's? I can recite it from memory and it just screams that Christmas has arrived! So a retelling of the Christmas story told to the same rhythym seemed perfect. The words were beautiful and captured both my own and my son's attentions. And because I truly believe that children learn things quicker when recited in a rhythmic pattern, I feel hopefully that he is actually picking up more on the details than what he would reading it straight from the Bible. It is also in a way that is easily understood for children, without going away from the traditional story. And the pictures...absolutely stunning! 

As a mom, I'm always looking for ways to incorporate Jesus more into our holiday festivities, and The First Christmas Night has certainly allowed us to do just that. It has become a great bedtime story in the weeks leading up to Christmas and could become a wonderful tradition, reading together as a family on Christmas night, in the many years to come. It is the perfect holiday gift for all of the children in your life.

If you'd like to find out more, or order your own copy, check out the links below:

Ideals Facebook 
Buy! Ideals Website

And one very lucky reader will win a copy of their own. Enter using the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household, winning entry will be verified. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery. US only.

Disclosure: I received a copy of The First Christmas Night in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 


  1. We found this cute Lego book that told the story of the birth of Christ, in Lego pictures! It's great!

  2. I think that one of my favorite Christmas Story besides the one in the Bible is The LIttle Drummer Boy

  3. I like the Charlie Brown's Christmas story.

  4. The story of the wise men is my fave.

  5. For me, the only Christmas story is the story of Jesus' birth.

  6. The classic night before Christmas.

  7. I love the First Christmas story of Jesus' birth. I also love the Christmas Carol.

  8. I like Twas the Night before Christmas. :)

  9. I like the Muppets Christmas Carol

  10. I love Twas the Night before Christmas.


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