Cover image for The feathered crown
The feathered crown
Hayles, Marsha.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Mother birds take a long journey to welcome the newborn baby Jesus and give him a feathered crown to warm his head.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.8 0.5 65373.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
X Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday

On Order



An intimate look at Baby Jesus' welcome into the world, told from the loving perspective of a flock of mother birds.

"The mother birds
Like gentle words
Took wing one wintry day."

Through sun and rain, across mountains and plains, a flock of mother birds journey on, growing in number and determination. A yearly migration? Yes, but so much more.

Landing at last, the mother birds gather leaves and feathers as they prepare an offering for a very special birthday. Their gift? A soft, downy bed and a loving welcome for the newborn King - baby Jesus!

Author Notes

Marsha Hayles is the author of several books for young children, including Beach Play and He Saves the Day . Her inspiration for The Feathered Crown arose from a simple discovery; bird books so often feature colorful male birds in favor of the less vivid females. Once her imagination alighted on an image of female birds filling the sky, this story took flight. Ms. Hayles lives in Pittsford, New York, with her family.

Bernadette Pons has illustrated many books for children, including Mouse Cleaning and Tickle Tum! While painting The Feathered Crown , she was especially moved by the bond of motherhood - filled with strength and love - that propels the story forward. An internationally known artist whose work has been exhibited at the Bologna Book Fair, Ms. Pons lives with her three daughters and husband in Paris, France.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

K-Gr. 2. "The mother birds, / Like gentle words, / Took wing one wintry day." Their long journey crosses plains and seas to a warm land, a "sea of sand," where they ". . . build a home, / A manger throne, / A feather-softened nest" for a weary mother with a swaddled baby. "She thanked the birds / With gentle words / And put her Son to bed. / A feathered crown / of humble down / Soon warmed the new King's head." The simplicity and originality of this nativity narrative sets it apart from other tales about the animals' Christmas. The sounds, in the spare, rhyming text, mirror the gentle, hushed tone of the watercolor illustrations. Subtle shifts in perspective enhance the flight and ground scenes, and the yellow baby bird clinging to its mother's neck or leg in every spread imparts a sweet touch. This tender, loving story shaped by the bond of motherhood adds an unusual feather to the crown of nativity stories. --Julie Cummins

Publisher's Weekly Review

Birds of many feathers flock together for a special Christmas mission in this inviting picture book. Hayles's (Beach Play) evocative, airy imagery gives wing to her rhyming verse about mother birds flying to Bethlehem ("They journeyed on/ From field to pond/ In clouds of graying cold./ Beyond the trees,/ Then out to sea/ Aloft on heaven's breath"). Reaching the stable, they fashion a soft and snug feather "nest" for the baby Jesus. Pons's (He Saves the Day) sunny watercolors, featuring a delicately variegated palette, offer a sweetly anthropomorphized bird's-eye view of the proceedings. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-One wintry day, mother birds from all over the world wing their way to "A place so strange,/So soon to change,/Awaiting one child's birth." They gather straw, leaves, and down to build "a home,/A manger throne,/A feather-softened nest," for the swaddled baby of "another/Weary mother." Unadorned, gracefully rhyming text is partnered with delicate watercolor illustrations, resulting in a gentle perspective on the Nativity that will strike a chord with nature lovers and young children settling down to sleep.-S. P. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.