Dear God, It’s me – Jesús. Mama said you’d never have any problem remembering me because I’ve got the same name as your son. Can you please help me get a part in our school Nativity play?
After Jesús finally lands a part as an innkeeper in his school’s Nativity play, he asks God to help him be the best innkeeper ever. Day by day, he grows more and more confident in his role, but on opening night, he finds himself so swept up in this long ago world, that when Mary and Joseph ask him, “Do you have any room at your inn?” he comes up with his own answer, causing chaos on the stage.
Kathleen T. Pelley is the author of seven other picture books, some of which have been included on the “best of the year” lists in Bank Street College of Education, and were named as Colorado Book Award winners, among others. She has been sharing her passion for stories with people of all ages and all walks of life as a lector at her church, as a narrator of books for the blind, as a storyteller at a low income school and most recently, by hosting her own storytelling podcast, Journey with Story, with between 40 and 50 thousand downloads per month. Kathleen grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where she too, like Jesús, once landed a part as Innkeeper #2 in the class Nativity play – but, unlike, Jesús, she was not a star! When she is not reading or writing, telling or listening to stories, Kathleen enjoys hiking the trails of sunny Colorado with her husband and their two Golden retrievers.
Jesús, Mary, and Joseph is a fine children's picture book for holiday pursuit, and opens with a child's prayer to God.
Jesús has the same name as God's son, so he's hoping this personal connection will help reach God with his special wish to receive a key part in his school's holiday Nativity play.
When he wins the part of Innkeeper #2, his mother is proud. But, now he needs God to help him with his part in the play...and when he messes up, he wonders why God hasn't made his role easier.
Dubravka Kolanovic's drawings enhance Kathleen Pelley's message, providing a simple yet appealing visual embellishment to a school play's challenges and achievement.
In the course of appealing to God to help him in his efforts, Jesús learns more about God's presence in everyday life, year-round: "Christmas is not just a long ago story. She says every time we love a lot, Jesus is born again in our hearts."
Adults seeking to impart spiritual lessons in a manner familiar to the very young will appreciate Jesús, Mary, and Joseph's ability to bring the Christmas experience to life in a very different manner. It embraces Latino family interactions, school events, and a holiday effort that reflects the spirit of Christmas, making Jesús, Mary, and Joseph a highly recommended pick for multicultural, Christian, and holiday picture book holdings alike.
-- Diane Donovan - Midwest Book Review