Beautifully crafted and presented, A King James Christmas is sure to become a new Christmas classic for the entire family. Excerpts from the Gospels are woven together to form a seamless and easy-to-follow story of Jesus’ birth and infancy, including the Annunciation, the Visitation, the adoration of the Magi, the presentation of Jesus in the temple, and the flight into Egypt. Also included is the inspiring Sermon on the Mount. Fully illustrated with reproductions of paintings, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, and stained glass windows from across the globe, A King James Christmas is a feast for the eye and a remarkable celebration of the spirit of Christmas.
“Fitzgerald and Schuon compile verses from the King James Bible into three sections: the birth, childhood, and teachings of Jesus. The book is attractively illustrated with prints of Schuon’s paintings, which pay homage to early European Renaissance artists in their muted blues, golds, and reds; well-known European Renaissance artists such as Fra Angelico plus a few pieces from Asia and the Mediterranean also appear. Synonyms for unfamiliar words or usages are inserted parenthetically in the text. An attractive resource for older children. Ages 8–up.”
“In their new book, A King James Christmas, artist and translator Catherine Schuon and award-winning author and editor Michael Fitzgerald have collaborated as coeditors to present an exquisite, very traditional holiday volume suitable for the entire Christian family. Using relevant selections from the King James Bible, they have arranged their chosen verses into three separate sections, one each about the birth, the childhood, and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Every section is abundantly and superbly illustrated.
“The first part, in particular, contains what many consider to be “the true story of Christmas”—the more popular verses that many choose to read during the Christmas season. The selections are presented here in chronological order, rather than as the verses originally appear in the Bible, helpfully allowing the selections to be read easily as an ongoing story. Schuon has selected from among the countless works of art created over the centuries to celebrate the glory of Christ’s birth, and she includes at least one illustration, and often several, in every page spread to complement the verses presented. The artwork ranges from a sixth-century mosaic and a seventh-century Russian icon to tenth- to fifteenth-century European oil paintings and stained glass to more contemporary Ethiopian, Asian, and Coptic works. She includes several of her own twentieth-century paintings, as well. The juxtaposition of so many styles and interpretations of the very same biblical verses is both enlightening and, honestly, stunning.
“The significantly shorter second and third sections of A King James Christmas continue with the one selection from the Bible that speaks of Christ’s childhood, Jesus Teaches in the Temple, and the later Sermon on the Mount. The verses chosen here offer a look beyond the “Christmas story” and serve as an introduction to the rest of Christ’s life and teachings.
“Fitzgerald indicates that his and Schuon’s book is intended for the entire family, and he has modified the presentation via larger type and the inclusion of an occasional synonym for a difficult word to make reading it aloud a bit easier. Both the size and the layout of the book allow it to function well for this purpose. Schuon contributes both clarification and variety through her choice of illustrations, from recognizable works by a few well known artists like early Italian Renaissance painter Fra Angelico to less often seen early illuminations and more contemporary selections. Each work of art offers its own artist’s interpretation of the verses it accompanies and begs to be studied both in context and on its own. Children and adults alike will be intrigued. Fitzgerald and Schuon’s thoughtful individual contributions to A King James Christmas blend harmoniously to make this truly a book to be shared. Theirs is a distinctive and appealing telling of the traditional story of the first Christmas, and it deserves to become a family holiday tradition in its own right.”
“Biblical selections from the King James version of the Christian Bible are taken from the Gospels of Luke and Matthew and arranged for reading aloud during the Christmas season.
“Additional verses are included that follow Jesus into adulthood, including the Flight into Egypt, Jesus teaching in the Temple and the Sermon on the Mount, which includes the Lord’s Prayer. The text is set in a large font for ease in reading aloud, with some unfamiliar terms paraphrased parenthetically. The words of Jesus in the later sections are set in contrasting, dark red type. The Biblical verses are complemented by a wide selection of art reproductions, both classical and contemporary. These illustrations include several works by Fra Angelico and Giotto as well as reproductions from stained-glass windows and illuminated manuscripts. More modern illustrations from the 20th century include two Coptic paintings, two Chinese works and several contemporary paintings by [Catherine] Schuon, a Swiss-born artist who is one of the volume’s editors. Her intriguing painting, ‘The Virgin of the Sleigh,’ reproduced as the cover illustration, shows Mary and the Christ Child being pulled through a snowy landscape by a white reindeer with candlelit antlers.
“The case-bound volume is intended as a family resource and would also be suitable for large public-library collections or church libraries.… (Religion. 9 & up)”
“[A King James Christmas] is a wonderful book. It should be read slowly and thoughtfully. [It is] richly designed and printed, and the text is in perfect balance with the pictures. I see it as a classic for all ages.”
—Gerald Hausman, co-author of The Image Taker and many other books
“Holiday traditions are created in many families and follow down through generations. Michael Fitzgerald writes of his family tradition that included readings from the King James version of the Bible at Christmastime. This became the inspiration for a book many families might adopt as part of their own traditions. Fitzgerald has chosen passages from the new testament of the King James version of the Bible that tell the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, his childhood during his introduction at the temple, and the teaching of Christ as an adult. The biblical passages are in chronological order and contain synonyms for difficult or archaic words to help youngsters along. The words of Christ are set in red type as they are in many versions of the Bible. Art to support the chosen passages come from around the world and across hundreds of years, but many have been created by Catherine Schuon and are reminiscent of paintings from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
“This collection of biblical passages and beautiful pieces of art will likely become the foundation for a new Christmas tradition in many Christian homes.”
—Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review
“A treasury for parents to share with children ages 8 and up, A King James Christmas: Biblical Selections with Illustrations from Around the World pairs passages from the King James Bible about the birth, childhood, and teachings of Jesus Christ with striking color reproductions of paintings, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, and stained glass windows around the world. Illustrations grace practically every page, while the biblical passages are in an easy-to-read enlarged font. The biblical passages themselves are unedited, although glossary synonyms for some unfamiliar words are conveniently offered. The result is a wonderful, read-aloud way for Christian parents to share the true meaning of the Christmas holiday with their children. Highly recommended.”
—Children’s Bookwatch (Midwest Book Review)