Little One, We Knew You’d Come
Sally Lloyd-Jones & Jackie Morris
Little, Brown and Company, 2006
It’s a rare thing to find a book about the birth of Christ that’s an Advent book instead of a Christmas book, by which I mean a book that focuses on the joyful expectancy surrounding the Messiah’s birth. Most Christmas books for kids, even the majority of the theological ones I’ve seen, tend to skip over all of the waiting and land instead right in the middle of Jesus’ birthday party celebration. There’s obviously nothing wrong with celebrating Christ’s birth! But the way that we do so with barely a thought given to the centuries of longing endured by God’s people is perhaps not helpful to our spiritual lives.
Sally-Lloyd Jones to the rescue! (She’s getting good at that!) Everything about Little One, We Knew You’d Come makes it a perfect choice for Advent reading. Its poetry makes clear that the world had been longing and praying for this special baby for quite some time. The refrain “we knew you’d come” speaks volumes about the trust God’s people have in their ever-faithful God. The evocative images of Mary and Joseph simultaneously capture feelings of somber yearning and deep peace; their eyes and faces are wrought with meaning. The text on its own doesn’t actually speak of Jesus (on its own it’s pretty close to what every new parent whispers to their newborn), but the illustrations make perfectly clear which Baby we’re talking about: Christ the Savior has come into the world!
I’d love to find more books that capture the traditional themes of Advent – oh, how I would love to have a book about longing for the Second Advent! While I wait for that (pun intended), I’m grateful that Sally Lloyd-Jones has ensured that there is at least one great Advent book available to us. If your family distinguishes between Advent and the 12 Days of Christmas, you’re going to want to check this one out.