In Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson (illustrated by Jane Chapman; Margaret K. McElderry, 2007), a sweet mouse is looking for a home other than the dark and dirty hole in the wall. He finds the family’s nativity scene and moves in there. Eventually, he overhears the family talking and realizes that true meaning of Christmas: he lets Jesus have the comfortable manager. Instead, he finds a home in the nearby gingerbread house.
The illustrations are by Jane Chapman and this duo, which wrote the wonderful Bear Sleeps On, creates a delightful and gorgeous Christmas story that celebrates the life and meaning of Jesus Christ as the true meaning of Christmas. I love that this message is cushioned with a sweet animal story about inclusion. Mortimer is adorable and the book is very readable, with a common refrain as he pushes and pulls the Nativity scene around so he can sleep in the manger. Overall, this is one of my favorite Christmas books!