This is the sweet, sweet story of a little mouse who "makes room" for the Lord Jesus. Little Mortimer lives in a "cold, cramped, creepy (though I omit the last word for very young children) hole." One night, after the family whose house he lives in goes to bed, he discovers something "wonderful" --a nativity with a little statue of baby Jesus that Mortimer promptly removes to make room for himself in the cozy, straw-filled manger. One evening when he happens to hear the family reading the Christmas story and realizes Who the manger belongs to, the little mouse is shaken up. Mortimer painstakingly pulls the nativity statues back into their rightful places, resolved to return to his "cold, cramped, creepy" hole. But on the way, he asks the Lord Jesus to provide him with a home. The answer to little Mortimer's prayer is simply delightful. :-)
I remember watching the animated Disney movie of this story as a child. It made a tremendous impression upon me then, as it still does. This endearing tale of a little boy's love for his donkey and his subsequent quest to find another owner for his beloved pet after his father requires him to sell the animal, is deeply touching. The story still brings tears to my eyes when I read it! The little boy, unable to find a suitable owner, faces having to sell his aged pet to a tanner. Unwilling to do this, the boy sits head down, contemplating how to fulfill his father's command. I don't want to give the entire story away, but the donkey ends up playing a key fictitious role in the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. This is a beautiful story of love, devotion, gentleness, and mercy.
This is a relatively new one to me. I love the rich pictures in this book and the lyrical, rhythmic telling of Jesus' birth in a stable. This is a wonderful one for little children in introducing them to the Christmas story or to read as a family on Christmas Eve.
Another recommendation for family reading, though not a Christmas book, is a sweet, creative children's book recently written by my sister. You can read my blog post about Mr. Portly Finds His Purpose HERE. This book would make a wonderful Christmas present and is great for families.
Some Other Christmas/Winter-themed Books We've Been Enjoying:
- I Like Winter, by Lois Lenski
- The Jacket I Wear in the Snow, by Shirley Neitzel
- The Twelve Days of Christmas, by Hilary Knight
- The Mitten, by Jan Brett
- The Little Drummer Boy, by Ezra Keats
- The Legend of the First Christmas Tree, by Linda Staten
- Peterkin Meets a Star, by Emilie Boon
- An Angel Came to Nazareth, by Maggie Kneen
These wonderful books have made our Christmas reading more enjoyable. May the Lord bless you and your family as you prepare your hearts for Christmas. He is the greatest Gift.
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