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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 15 Nov 2009
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: On This Special Night (Hardcover)
This is a fantastic book about the first Christmas. It is told from the perspective of a young kitten and his mother who are visited by animals following a star - a star that is burning brighter than any others. Soon mother and kitten are following also, and they discover a baby in a manger surrounded by animals with the bright star shining down upon him. A unique telling of a story most of us are familiar with. It is a great story excellently illustrated.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watching, waiting......why is that star so bright, tonight?, 23 Nov 2011
This review is from: On This Special Night (Hardcover)
Little Tiger Press/2008

From the back cover:

'As Little Kitten looks up at the sky, he sees one star shining bigger and brighter than the rest.
"That must be a special star," Mother Cat whispers.
One by one, different animals stop at their barn to rest on their way towards the star.
And Little Kitten and Mother Cat soon discover that this is a very special night indeed....

With a lovely, lyrical test and breathtaking illustrations, this book is a gentle introduction to the story of the Nativity.'

Measuring in around 26.25 cm square, the durable hard board covers open to 32 high quality shiny pages in double-page spread format, of which 24 are story.
Illustrated throughout, by Simon Mendez, with realistic looking animals, the first page shows Little Kitten and his Mum snuggled together as the wonderfully atmospheric writing begins:

'It was a silent winter's night. Frosty trees glistened in the shadowy twilight. High above, the heavens sparkled, watching, watching......

Little Kitten snuggled up in the old, wooden barn.
Outside, stars studded the inky-blue sky.
The wind hushed, barely a whisper, waiting, waiting....'

Try as he does the inquisitive little grey kitten just cannot settle for the night as he surveys the sky above.
'A gentle crack of leaves broke through the stillness of the night' and announces the arrival of their first visitor, 'Donkey' who calls in briefly at the barn, before 'he trundled off into the soft, silver moonlight', continuing his 'very special journey'.
He is followed by Lamb, three tiny mice and a calf......all taking brief respite in the barn, then moving on.
Each time Little Kitten tries to find out what their special journey is and where they are going.
From the barn roof he and his Mum see the outline of three camels in the distance and they finally go off to join the other animals.
They find a stable lit up by that brightest star......and, inside, 'a very special baby sleeping in the sweet, soft hay' (although, there is no actual baby visible in the picture!)

A very simple outline of the nativity story which ends with the animals staring wide-eyed into the hay.
The text finishes, also simply, with reference to that brightest star:

'shining with peace
and joy
and love'.

This book generally has a regular airing in the reading corner in the run up to Christmas, each year. Despite the relatively complex descriptive text, at times, it is easy to keep the interest with swapping voices for the speech from Mother Cat, Little Kitten and the various animals (plus their 'noises' which are italicised), e.g.:

* Baa! Baa!
* Scritch! Scratch!
* Moo! Moooo!

along with the gentle repeat on 'that special' which older listeners can relate to and join in with.

Other words include:

* blazing, brilliant, crackle, nudging, comfy, tiptoed, nestled, battered, hungrily, amazing, shivered, begged, sparkling, magnificent, silhouetted, softened, tenderly
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On This Special Night, 9 Jan 2010
By 
P. MacPherson (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: On This Special Night (Hardcover)
I loved reading this story to my grandson so that I could explain the real meaning of Christmas. A delightful story, uncomplicated and easy for him to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On This Special Night, 28 Dec 2009
By 
Tami Brady "Tami Brady: Transition-Empowermen... (Calgary, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: On This Special Night (Hardcover)
On This Special Night is a good way to introduce the real meaning of Christmas to very young children. The book tells the nativity story from the perspective of the animals that witnessed the birth of Christ. They mention the star shining so brightly that they couldn't sleep that night. Then, a special child born and others coming to share in the joy of the birth.

The pictures in this book are wonderful. Even without a word on the page, these cute lifelike creatures would draw and keep the attention of little ones. A few times, I had troubles turning to the next page because we weren't done with the mice yet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFULL!, 9 Mar 2014
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This review is from: On This Special Night (Paperback)
For beautifully illustrated children's books, you cannot do better than Little Tiger Press. This one has exceptional illustrations. The story is very much centered on the animals involved in the nativity, especially the cats, and the paintings are so meticulously done that each animal's fur seems to have been painted hair by hair, so that you can almost feel the softness and the reality of the animal!
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4.0 out of 5 stars lovely story but..., 17 Dec 2012
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This review is from: On This Special Night (Paperback)
This is a lovely story full of vivid descriptions. But it does not tell the story of the Nativity...thats up to you. At one point the little lamb tells the kitten "I can tell you a story" but then he leaves. All of the kittens questions seem to go unanswered in the book. It paves the way and opens up opportunity for the reader to explain it. My 5 year old son enjoyed it and his eyes lit up when he realised what was going on - he has just learned about it in school (we are not religious so my explanation thus far has been very basic) but my 2.5 year old didn't really *get it* That said I still think its a good addition to our library because of the descriptive vocabulary....sounds, textures, etc. you do get quite a cozy feeling when reading it. Marked it down one star because I think it could have told the Nativity story, even if a simple version.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a gentle lovely book, 12 Jan 2010
By 
fiona goggins (SALTBURN-BY-THE-SEA, Cleveland, GB) - See all my reviews
This review is from: On This Special Night (Paperback)
i bought this lovely book for my brand new granddaughter as a cat lover myself...it was beautifully written, and although obviously telling the story of the nativity it was not religion driven. in this day and age where many young parents unfortunately shy away from such things. a pure delight....thankyou
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On This Special Night
On This Special Night by Claire Freedman (Paperback - 7 Sep 2009)
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