The world was about to change forever.
And it almost went by unnoticed.
But the leaves, that night, rustled with a rumour.
News rang out across the open fields.
A song drifted over the hills…
We first read Sally Lloyd Jones’ Song of the Stars when we were recently hanging out with some friends and their child, who is about to experience his first ever Christmas. It’s a beautiful book about the world preparing for the birth of Jesus, complete with beautiful paintings of landscapes and animals by illustrator Alison Jay.
After reading the story a couple of times Matthew noticed that the book echoes the structure of Psalm 104, the great psalm that praises God as the creator and sustainer of all things. I think he might be right. The story takes us across plains and through deserts, even into the ocean! There are vivid depictions of all kinds of wildlife that (I imagine) would be a great delight to read with young children. But it’s not only animals that the story teaches us about. Scattered throughout the book are many of the names and titles of Jesus, carefully placed to show the significance of the baby born on Christmas day.
‘It’s time! It’s time!’
I love this book because of how it explores the relationship between creation and its creator. The creation is expectantly longing for the good shepherd, the light of the world, the prince of peace. Advent is a time to remember Christ’s first coming and to look again for Christ’s second coming, and it’s not only people who are waiting in expectation:
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
It’s an important message to teach to children, and to adults too!
Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story
Sally Lloyd Jones, 2011
Illustrated by Alison Jay
Zonderkidz, Grand Rapids