A cozy Nativity story for those who love Christmas and cats.
All babies are beautiful and all babies cry. Jesus was no exception. On the night he was born, nothing Mary, Joseph, or the animals in the stable could do would comfort him. But when a curious kitten wanted its turn to calm the baby Jesus, a loving friendship blossomed on that very first Christmas.
This perfect read-aloud was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's drawings of La Madonna del Gatto, which show Mary lovingly holding the baby Jesus who is cuddling a cat.
Macdonald turns a parent's eye on the Nativity scene though the familiar struggle to calm an inconsolable infant. All efforts fail, until "a curious kitten crept out of the shadows"; later, the same cat keeps Jesus calm as the family flees Herod's soldiers. Working in watercolor and gouache, Bates creates marvelous earth-toned illustrations of all the familiar characters, with texture and depth added through deft pencil marks and attention to light and shadow. An author's note credits inspiration from da Vinci's multiple drawings of La Madonna del Gatto, or the Madonna of the Cat. An especially intimate and human retelling, with exquisite drawings. Ages 3 5. Author's agent: Steven Chudney, the Chudney Agency. Illustrator's agent: Shannon Associates.