Today’s edition of Fascinating Fridays comes from CAN member Robin Currie. Thank you for bringing us your animals’ eyewitness account of the Nativity story today, Robin!
I published Eyewitness Animals, Christmas Story, (Standard Publishing, now out of print) in the summer of 1997 about the Nativity story though the eyes of seven different animals who may have been there. They did not talk to humans but observed them and made internal comments.
The animals all had names that described them. The usual ones were Clomper, Donkey, Wooly Lamb, and Sandy Camel. Then I added Twitter Sparrow observing angel activity in Galilee, Yip-Yap Puppy, a sheepdog in training, and Chirpy Cricket, singing the baby to sleep in the manger.
My last character was Silky Kitty, the innkeeper’s cat, who led the little family to the barn behind the stable because she had her kittens there the summer before. In my mind she was a slim and slinky Siamese, able to get into small places but still laze in the sun.
At this time authors did not approve (or even see) art during production, but I figured how many ways were there to draw a donkey or a sparrow? Or a cat?
The book arrived and I loved the cover and the layout and the art! But when I turned to Silky Kitty’s story, I found she had morphed into:
There she is in front of the manger: Fluffy Kitty!
Every year since it came out, I have read Eyewitness Animals, Christmas Story, to church preschoolers. Every year the favorite character is – you guessed it – Fluffy Kitty!
Award winning author Robin Currie led children’s departments of Midwestern public libraries before being called midlife to ordained ministry. She has a special love for children’s literacy and Bible storytelling. She serves in Chicago area parishes and annually volunteers teaching English in developing countries. Robin has published library resource collections of creative ideas for library story times, and more than 20 Bible story books for children. She writes stories to read and read again!
Coming in March 2022: How to Dress a Dinosaur, illustrated by Alicia Pace and published by Familius. How to Dress a Dinosaur – Workman Publishing