Follow That Star
Lisa Arsenault is an elementary-school teacher in Ajax, Ontario.
On Christmas Eve, the shepherds, having seen the angels and heard their
proclamation, set out for Bethlehem. Only Zach didn’t see them,
because his back was turned and he was counting sheep. Having always
wanted to see an angel, Zach starts out with his sheep, which he can’t
leave behind, in the wake of the other shepherds. Along the way he
encounters several obstacles, usually created by the presence of the
animals. He receives help from several people: an old man, a carpenter,
another shepherd, and others. Something about their eyes leads Zach to
conclude that all of these good samaritans are in fact one person, and
the last incarnation transforms into an angel. The angel urges him to
keep following the star, for in Bethlehem he will find something even
more miraculous than angels.
The style in this Christmas story is almost aggressively modern.
Contemporary colloquialisms are used freely. The shepherd has the
somewhat annoying habit of referring to his sheep as “stupid,” and
the sheep, when they are jumping about, are compared to kangaroos—an
animal likely unknown in the Middle East at that time. In keeping with
the modern aspects of the text, the illustrations are almost
Follow That Star is recommended with reservations for those who would
enjoy a nontraditional—even slightly irreverent—retelling of the