The Best Christmas Pageant! A Night of Great Joy! by Mary Engelbreit
THE ANGEL SAID, "DO NOT BE AFRAID. I BRING TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY."
The little angel, her halo almost in place, takes her place before the closed curtain and delivers her proclamation, while the curtain twitches and two excited little faces peep out at the assembled audience of proud parents.
What is better than a children's Nativity pageant to lead off the celebratory season, and in her characteristic style, Mary Engelbreit delivers her own introduction to the holiday in her A Night of Great Joy (Zonderkidz, 2016).
Engelbreit's portrayal of the presentation of the annual Christmas performance features her trademark rosy and chubby-cheeked youngsters of all sorts, some serious, some shy, and some a bit silly, with Mary arriving on stage in a little red wagon with a toy horse head mounted on the front, pulled by a little red-haired Joseph sporting a bristly beard. The babe in the manger looks a lot like somebody's well-loved Raggedy Andy, and a rocking horse stands quietly by, while the plump little actor in the cow costume dozes off beside him.
"HELLO, JESUS," SAID MARY.
The Three Kings, appropriately crowned and gowned, appear gravely with all the dignity they can summon, as two shepherds scuffle a little over who possesses the toy sheep and the angel choir has a little to-do over their places. At last the Star rises and the choir, finally sorted out, stand still to sing the old, old song.
There's no reason why a presentation of the Adoration cannot be adorable, and the latest Engelbreit title joins her earlier catalog of Christmas confections--Mary Engelbreit's Nutcracker, The Best Christmas Ever With Mary Engelbreit, The Big Book of Santa and of course, her classic The Night Before Christmas.