Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Review: The Midwife of Bethlehem by Shad Driggs

by Shad Driggs
Illustrated by Diane Lucas
Picture Book
ages 5+
32 pages

Rebecca, the midwife of Bethlehem, is used to having her days and nights interrupted to help deliver babies.  After all, she's nearly delivered all of the children born in the small town for 14 years.  But, on a clear and starry night, when she receives a knock on her door that a woman needs help delivering her baby, Rebecca couldn't know that on that special night, she would share in the birth of the King, the Deliverer, the Messiah and that our world would be forever changed.

A beautifully illustrated read for the holidays - this is a book you will pull out year after year to remind you of the spirit and wonder of Christmas.


Just picking this book up reminded me of those weeks before Christmas when my mother would sit down and read a story to us about Christ's birth. So it was with a nostalgic feeling that I sat down with my own two youngest and read this to them.

The quality of the book is amazing - wonderful cover, pages, format and illustrations. It was a joy just to pick it up and look at it. The story has a more traditional feel as do the illustrations and perfectly fit with the story. My children enjoyed looking through them and had no trouble following the scenes through these pictures.

The story is about a midwife, and since some children might not know what this is, the first few pages do a nice job showing a midwife's tasks in such a way that even younger readers will have no trouble understanding what's going on. I'm sure kids will want to know more, which is also a great way to open up even more conversations between parent and child.

As to the story itself, it has a calm and warming feel, and does a terrific job digging into the Christ's birth as well as the prophecies leading up to it. Although I appreciated these references, I'm afraid only the older of my two children (the ten year old) understood what they meant and could follow through. My younger one (8) didn't understand everything, and I had to stop and explain the passages to her. I personally don't have a problem with this, since I think it's important for the kids to see these connections, but I'm afraid younger children will stumble over these parts.

Summed up, this is a lovely twist on the Christmas miracle which offers a nice Biblical basis many such stories are lacking. The illustrations are lovely as is the story itself, but I'd still recommend this to older listeners, at least ages 5+.

And here he is. . .

Shad Driggs is a businessman who lives in Naperville, Illinois. He and his wife, Darla, and their six children dedicate many hours in service to their church and community. After very unexpected heart surgery in 2014, he was determined to share the beautiful Christmas story that had formed in his head. The Midwife of Bethlehem is his first book.

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