The First Noel A Tale of Friendship by Clare Johnson is a Christian children’s story about friendship, love, values, acceptance, lesson teaching, and more. It is told in the form of a poem, which also weaves the story of the birth of Jesus. The story begins when the daughter of a Wiseman meets a poor shepherd girl- before evolving into the Nativity story.
When I saw this book show up on my recommended book feed, and with Christmas approaching, I immediately though that this would be a great story to read to my 4 year old grandson- so I grabbed a copy and sat him down to read it.
While I did think the premise was quite clever and interesting, I felt that the story would probably be best enjoyed by older children, as it lacked the attention grabbing details that most young children need and enjoy having in their stories. My grandson loves story time, but only a page into the book and his attention was wandering, already asking for other books. We persevered, but he really wasn’t that interested in it. I do think that with just a little tweaking this story could be fabulous.
The pictures are quite well done, done in a computer graphics kind of style, but were not as whimsical and ‘child-friendly’ as I had hoped for.
The author explains that the story/poem was originally written as a dance production before becoming a picture book- so I would definitely be interested in seeing the stage production, as maybe the story better translates to dance.
Thank you, Clare Johnson!
Reviewed by @angelahayes