Pen Elaine’s most favorite book…this week


We’ve been enjoying some Christmas books whenever we can fit them in, and here’s one that Pen Elaine repeatedly picks: Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown. In this Christmas retelling, the author talks of an ancient barn where the Nativity family went to give birth to baby Jesus, although the mary and Joseph illustrated are dressed more turn of the century, perhaps? It’s a soothing, sort of rhythmic storytelling with sweet pictures.

I think Pen Elaine enjoys the illustrations and pointing out the animals. She also loves finding baby Jesus in the pictures. The edition we’ve been reading came from the library, and I discovered from online searching that it’s an older edition than what’s currently in stores, so I’m not sure if the illustrations are all different inside, as the cover art is definitely updated. I’m including an image of both the old and newer versions.


Reading together is an opportunity for joint attention or mutual gaze, in which we are both attending to the same point of interest at the same time. Research has shown that infants and young children actually have better memory for objects they’ve seen during joint attention, better learning, and higher brain activation (example article by Reid & Striano) than when attending to the same object independently.




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