This is a simple straightforward telling of the Christmas story by Margaret Wise Brown (author of Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny). The illustrations by Floyd Cooper are less straightforward in that they depict an African baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I don’t really have a problem with this, although I think this depiction isn’t any more accurate than the old blond-haired and blue-eyed Madonna and Child paintings. If we want to be accurate about their ethnicity, seems to me it should show a typical Middle Eastern family. I do find the pictures a little distracting since they are so different from what we normally see. That could be a good thing, but it also ends up with me thinking more about why the illustrator made this particular choice and less about the story.
However, I’ve read this book to John for several years and David this year. Neither of them have either never noticed the race of the Christ child in the paintings or don’t care. Which is in itself a good thing.