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Away in the Manger Review by Amanda Hopkins

A Christmas Story from a Nativity Scene Lamb’s Point of View
David B. Biebel
Healthy Life Press
6700 Wadsworth Blvd, Apt 101
Arvada, CO 80003

Telling your child the story of the nativity is one thing, but having them hear it from the viewpoint of a lamb in the local nativity set up, that is something that is a joy to experience! Away in a Manger, by David B. Biebel, takes the story of the nativity to a whole new level that was loved by the whole family!

In this paperback mini novel, we meet a young lamb named Ransom and his mom in their home in Colorado. We find out that Ransom has been picked to play a role in a Living Nativity for Christmas at a local church. Within the 76 pages of this story, we listen as Ransom learns all about Christmas and the Son of God.

Not only do we get to hear about the Living Nativity that is very well described, but we get to view it with the beautiful artwork that has been added. These simple sketches are just what we need to brighten up the story every couple of pages. They are not over done, and do not happen on all pictures, but they are just enough that we enjoyed them even more.

We took the time to sit down and read this a loud. But even if we hadn’t, the words were easy enough for my 2nd grader to read them himself, which he did after I finished reading this to everyone.

Following Ransom through the story of the nativity, we were able to hear the story and follow along with the pastor as he read from the New Living Translation of the bible. This is a new translation for me, but it was one that was perfect for the little kids to understand better.

Ransom and his Mommy, being a lamb and ewe, are not able to speak to the humans who are a part of the nativity or those who are there to view it. However, the pastor was able to understand Ransom’s Mommy and knew what his name was. This confused Ransom, but made him feel comfortable at the same time.

After the first night of the live nativity, Ransom found a young girl named Jenny. Instantly he felt the same connection with her as he had with the pastor. As they were communicating, Ransom asked about Jenny coming back the next night. She mentioned that there were some issues with the church and her mom and she was not sure if they would be back again.

On the final night of the live nativity, as the words of the pastor spoke of the birth of Jesus, our King, Ransom noticed that Jenny was there again with her mom. The story that follows is a very heart-touching and brought out the true meaning of Christmas.

We thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It has a permanent spot on our bookcase and the kids love to pull it out and read it whenever they need a book to read. Hearing the nativity from a different viewpoint has opened our eyes and hearts to the meaning and story behind Christmas. It has helped us to know how to be more Christian and how to show love and acceptance of others.

-Product review by Amanda Hopkins, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. LLC. April, 2017