Certain Poor Shepherds: A Christmas Tale

by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Hardcover, 2015



Call number

Child > Fiction


Candlewick (2015), Edition: Reprint, 160 pages


A dog, a goat, and their flock follow the sight and scent of a star in a beautifully illustrated, keenly observed Nativity story. -- Amazon.com.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Treeseed
This book is a little treasure and one of my favorites. It's the story of the night of Christ's birth as perceived by the animals. It is told with great sensitivity by reknowned animal lover Elizabeth Marshall Thomas and as such it is filled with eye-opening empathy and poignant beauty. It has an
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interesting take on angels as seen by animals, showing them to be very non-human and free of human stereotypes. Perhaps our perceptions of ourselves do color our perceptions of angels as well. It taught me a lot about the way animals might perceive the strange, crude doings of humans and helped me view my relationships with animals with more thoughtfulness. In that sense alone, it is a worthy addition to any library and especially to a holiday collection. I love this book very much.
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LibraryThing member flamingrosedrakon
I found the treasure of this little book in my hometown library and the story has stuck with me even when I couldn't remember the name (that is the worst part about finding a good book for me). Fortunately I did re-find this book while my sister presented this book for me for Christmas so it is
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once more within my hands to enjoy and read to my heart's content.

I have seen a few comments where people have mentioned that this isn't "the Nativity story" or that parts of the book doesn't match "the Nativity story" but it wasn't meant to be "the Nativity story". In fact this gives another viewpoint of what may have been as well as giving an emotional side of a story circling around the more famous biblical time of the year.

The author does a beautiful job of portraying that animals even the docile sheep have feelings and are often affected by items in their environment that we may overlook. And within this story they are given a very deep emotional background such as when Lila the sheepdog compares the newborn Christ-child as being powerful and yet at the same time a precious innocent who needs protecting just as much as He needs to be worshipped.

This is definitely a good book for someone who likes animals and enjoys having a bit more details about what may have been.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

160 p.; 6.25 inches


0763670626 / 9780763670627
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