Wednesday 7 December 2011

Mortimer's Christmas Manger

A mouse named Mortimer is looking for a place to live in a family's home.  He discovers a little wooden house beside the Christmas tree, but it is already occupied.  One by one he lugs the statue people out of the house, including a baby statue, and then he takes his place in the manger and falls fast asleep in the warm hay.  The next evening, he finds the statues have resumed their places inside the house and he repeats his ritual.  On Christmas Eve, he discovers big people gathered around the tree.  A big man begins telling a story:  "A long time ago in a little town called Bethlehem..."  Mortimer hears about Mary and Joseph; he hears about baby Jesus being born in a stable.  He realizes that the baby isn't just any statue, but the baby Jesus.  With a tear rolling down his cheek, Mortimer lugs the statues back to their rightful places.  Lastly, he gently places baby Jesus back in the manger.  Then he says a prayer:  "Jesus you were born to save the world.  Perhaps you could find me a home?"  Instantly, the mouse noticed another house, this one made of gingerbread, and he set up house once again, thanking Jesus for making room for him.

Karma Wilson's picture book Mortimer's Christmas Manger is so simple and yet so beautiful.  Jane Chapman's drawings are rich.  What a great find!

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