I was intending to write this review before Christmas, but then something called life happened. So, in honor of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, here it is! My review of "Mountain Miracle: A Nativity Story," by Alvaro Correa, LC. Of course, I had to reread the book and this time I read it to the kids. Meaning mostly Catherine. It was a little long for the rest of them(94 pages) and not enough pictures to keep them interested. Catherine liked the story though and she is 5. Older kids could easily read it to themselves.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story which takes place in a mountain village in modern times, but still has kind of an old world feel to it. The main characters, Martin and Beth, are to play the parts of St. Joseph and Mary in the annual living nativity scene which takes place after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Early on Christmas Eve day, Beth comes up with the idea to find a real baby to play the part of baby Jesus, and Martin helps her in her plan. All of the babies in the village are unable to take the part for one reason or another, but Beth and Martin receive some divine aid when the Holy Family stops by to help. The whole village feels the miracle though most of them do not realize that Mary (Beth) is holding the real baby Jesus.
I found this a heartwarming tale and I think it would make a neat little Christmas movie done in cartoon style. Up there with The Little Drummer Boy. The faith of the children and the villagers is told in a simple, natural way. The description of the Midnight Mass was reverent and meaningful, and the priest in the story is shown in a very good light. The interactions of the children with the Holy Family were very poignant and wonderful. The only negatives in the book were a couple of glaring typos and one instance where the same scarf was called blue on one page and white on another and the picture showed it white. Okay, I know that was a minor little thing, but it bugged me. :)
Overall, I would recommend this book, especially as an Advent read-it-to-your-kids kind of book. I think it will become an annual read for us!
This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Mountain Miracle - A Nativity Story. I just saw on their website that this book is on sale right now!