Book Review: The First Christmas Ever

2 Dec

740834A simple retelling of the Christmas story, from the angel’s visit to Mary to the shepherds’ joyful praise of the new born Baby, this small format paperback, The First Christmas Ever is sure to be popular with young readers. Using the vibrant and popular artwork of Dennis Jones, families can share this timeless story of God’s love each holiday season.


About Dennis Jones, illustrator.

aboutpictureBorn in Mountain Grove, a small rural town in the Missouri Ozarks, Dennis was the fourth of six children. He logged a lot of pew time at the local Baptist Church, honing his artistic abilities by drawing on church bulletins during Sunday morning sermons.

After high school, he attended Southwest Missouri State University and studied art. During the college years, he spent his summers working at amusement parks (Opryland & Silver Dollar City) where he drew caricatures. Dennis graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and stumbled blindly into a career as a freelance illustrator.

After spending the 90s in Texas, Dennis and family moved to Northeastern Indiana where his wife Karen is a professor at Huntington University. His two grown sons now live and work in the Oklahoma City area.

For fun Dennis plays in a recreational ice hockey league where he pretends to be Wayne Gretzky, but plays more like Wayne Gretkowski, the ninety year old store greeter at the local Wal-Mart. He also occasionally plays bass and guitar in the band at his church where he continues to insist that a pyrotechnics show and hydraulic stage for the band would really add a lot to the Sunday morning worship experience.


My Impressions:

The First Christmas Ever is a retelling of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus taken directly from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Written in a simple style, this book is perfect for young children ages 4-8. And unlike other books focusing on Christ’s birth, it continues the story allowing for children to connect the baby in the manger with the Savior of the world. Dennis Jones’ illustrations are wonderful. Highly detailed and colorful, they depict the story with scenes of Joseph knocking on doors in Bethlehem, the stay in the stable, and even the arrival of the Wise Men that took place a couple of years following Jesus’s birth. I especially loved the expressions on the faces of the people and animals. You do not want to miss the chickens! This book is a good choice to add to your family Christmas reading.


Audience: children ages 4-8.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below. At $1.99, it is a steal!

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