Review: Jesús, Mary, and Joseph

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Genre: Children's Christmas Book

Grade Level: Preschool - 2

Date Published: July 26, 2021

Publisher: Journey With Story Press

Dear God, It's me—Jesús. Mama said you'd never have any problem remembering me because I've got the same name as your son. Can you please help me get a part in our school Nativity play?

After Jesús finally lands a part as an innkeeper in his school's Nativity play, he asks God to help him be the best innkeeper ever. Day by day, he grows more and more confident in his role, but on opening night, he finds himself so swept up in this long ago world, that when Mary and Joseph ask him, ''Do you have any room at your inn?'' he comes up with his own answer, causing chaos on the stage.

Kathleen Pelley was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but spent most of her childhood summers playing on her grandparents’ farm in Ireland. Her passion for stories stemmed from listening to them on the BBC radio during the children’s story hour. So much did Kathleen love stories, that off she went to Edinburgh University and earned a degree in HiSTORY. She didn’t much care for all the facts and dates and numbers, but how she loved the stories of Rasputin, Napoleon, and Bonnie Prince Charlie! One character in particular captured Kathleen’s imagination—Florence Nightingale. After completing her degree, Kathleen studied to become a children’s nurse, but it was a brief and disastrous dalliance. For much as Kathleen loved children, she did not like to see them sick and suffering. However, decades later, Kathleen now sees herself as a kind of a nurse, because she believes that stories can heal the hurts in our hearts.

As a former elementary teacher, Kathleen enjoys sharing her passion with people of all ages. She is a regular speaker at Regis University on “Nurturing a Passion for Stories,” makes frequent presentations at schools and conferences, and has been telling stories at an inner city elementary school for the past 18 years. When she’s not reading, writing, telling, or listening to stories, Kathleen enjoys knitting, Scottish music, and hiking with her husband and two Golden Retriever dogs along the trails of sunny Colorado.

She is the author of five picture books: The Giant King (CD narrated by author – NAPPA storytelling award), Inventor McGregor (Bank Street Best Book and Colorado Book Award Winner), Magnus Maximus, a Marvelous Measurer (Bank Street Best Book, Colorado Book Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Anne Izard Storytelling Award), Raj the Bookstore Tiger, and The Sandal Artist.


What do we do when we get our prayers answered? Pray some MORE! That's what Jesús discovered.

I have been choosing the most delightful children's books lately and I have yet to be disappointed. You CAN actually judge a book by its cover!

The colors of the cover of Jesús, Mary and Joseph are light and bright and the decision to use childlike drawings and handwriting give you a feeling of affinity and connection.  That's exactly what you get when you read the book.

The points that stood out for me:

  • The story shows instead of tells, the lesson that we should pray about everything and God will help us.
  • Like his namesake Jesus, Jesús prayed about everything.
  • It reminded me of the premise of my favorite book, Are You There God, It's Me Margaret.

Overall, it was heartwarming read and right on time for the upcoming season. Young readers will enjoy the illustrations. I thought the synopsis done as the School Nativity program with Jesús' side notes was a delightful touch. It set the tone for the reading experience.

My favorite line was, "Dear God, Today we learned a new word…"

I chuckled. You will have to read the book yourself to discover the new word learned.

This book would be a good tool for parents or Sunday school teachers to teach about the power of prayer.

I received this advanced review copy at no cost and this review is voluntary.

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