I just picked up my copy of The First Christmas: An Angel Came to Nazareth today at the library. I didn’t realize it was the mini edition (which is also what that link goes to) but am very glad it is. There is something to be said for all the considerations publishers/writers/illustrators must make when producing a picture book. Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit books for example, were always meant to be small— perfect for little hands to hold. And while many editions now exist of those stories, the original, small sized ones are still best.
I haven’t seen the original edition of The First Christmas but I can tell you that this book is excellent in it’s small size! Not only would it make for a great stocking stuffer, but it’s printed in such a way to beg little hands to run over each of the thick, textured pages (thinner than a board book, but thicker than regular pages; like a really sturdy card-stock) which are bright, vibrant and gilded with gold accents. The story is very basic (animals have to choose one traveller to bear and all want to carry the greatest of all… but a donkey is the one who makes the greatest choice), just an ode to Christmas in a simplistic way but really it’s just books like these that add a little special something to holiday celebrations. Highly recommended.