Merry Christmas! We have reached the end of yet another 25 Days of Christmas picture books. This season went so fast, and yet when I look back at the first books posted this December, it seems like ages ago. How is that possible? As I suspect no one will be visiting today, I will share a simple, vintage Little Golden Book that has sat on my family’s bookshelves for years. It is only appropriate to finish with a Nativity story and what better than a classic Eloise Wilkin styled one. Here is The Christmas Story by Jane Werner Watson, illustrations by Eloise Wilkin, 1956.
While the Nativity story does not change from book to book, the way an illustrator depicts it often does. Here, Wilkin has taken a very classic approach and illustrated the events in a very straight-forward and almost non-Wilkin-styled way. Only one spread seems to give her away as the illustrator in my opinion, and that I have shown below.
To be honest, while I enjoy this classic Golden Book and of course the story it holds, I wish Wilkin had added more of her signature style to it. I love those pudgy-faced children crowding the streets of Bethlehem and I would love to see more of their part of this story. I even wish Wilkin’s adults looked less “Bible-times” and more Wilkin-centric. Is that picture book blasphemy? My apologies. I must be truthful, even about revered Christmas books. I do love this version, and it continues to come out each Christmas; but until I open it, I often cannot remember what it holds that is different than any other Nativity story.
Hm… this review is turning out less joyful than I intended. I do hope you have a lovely Christmas and I would be delighted to hear what Nativity stories appear as favorites on your shelf. It is a story that will continue to be told again and again and comparing them is really endless fun in my opinion. So Merry Christmas to all and happy reading!