The First Christmas
With text from the King James Bible
By Jan Pienkowski (Illustrator)
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9780375871511, 24pp.)
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
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In the days of Herod the King, the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph. Thus begins the Nativity story, illustrated in Jan Pienkowski's The First Christmas with black silhouettes and decorative silver ink against brilliant jewel-like colors. The text is selected from the King James version of the Bible (The Gospels of Luke and Matthew), and the scenes depicted by Pienkowski span various settings, time periods, and moods, making this an imaginative and nuanced interpretation.
Originally published in 1984, this is a stunning work of art, a reverent telling of the Nativity story, and a Christmas classic to treasure.
JAN PIENKOWSKI is a distinguished illustrator of children's books. Born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1936, he spent his childhood there under German occupation and moved to England shortly after the war. He studied English literature and classics at Cambridge and became a designer after graduation. Since then he has illustrated more than fifty children's books and was twice awarded England's highest honor for children's book illustration, the Kate Greenaway Medal.