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The Promise and the Light

A Christmas Retelling

from 10 reviews

Captivating retelling of the nativity story. Great Christmas gift for kids who love to read.

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What if you were visited by an angel one night who told you that you were to give birth to the Son of God? How would you feel? What might you think?

Written as a series of vivid and dramatic first-person accounts, The Promise and The Light tells the stories of Mary, Joseph and Zechariah as they experience the events of the first Christmas. Written in a lively and engaging style, this imaginative yet biblically faithful book will captivate children aged 8-12.

Readers will be able to get inside the hearts and minds of some of the key players in the Christmas story and will appreciate the power and excitement of what happened and why it is so amazing for us today.

With 25 chapters, readers may choose to read a chapter a day during Advent.

Notes at the back highlight the known facts versus the imaginative parts.

Product details


  • • 25 Chapters, each told from the point of view of Mary, Joseph or Zechariah
    • Notes, unpacking Bible background of each chapter
    • Map

Free extras


Age range: 8+
Contributors Katy Morgan
ISBN 9781784986612
Format Paperback
First published October 2021
Dimensions 5" x 7.8" x 0.6"
Weight 7.62 oz
Case quantity 50
Language English
Pages 192
Publisher The Good Book Company

Sinclair B Ferguson

Teaching Fellow of Ligonier Ministries; former Senior Minister of First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina

We usually watch the Christmas story unfold from the outside looking in, as we see Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, and then the wise men all arrive in Bethlehem. But what would it have looked like to be on the inside? Katy Morgan’s The Promise and the Light helps young readers imagine what it might have felt like for Mary and Joseph. And it leaves us hoping there will be a sequel describing what happened next!

Tim Chester

Crosslands Training; Author of Enjoying God

Fed up with school nativities and sentimental Christmas cards? Then The Promise and the Light is for you. It’s a fantastic retelling of the Christmas story from the perspective of those who witnessed it first-hand. It’s historically informed and beautifully reimagined. The result is an engrossing tale through which the message of Jesus shines.

Bob Hartman

Author, Rhyming Bible and The Lion Storytelling Bible

Employing the voices of Mary, Joseph and Zechariah, Katy Morgan creates a lovely personal retelling of the Christmas narrative, carefully evoking the time and the place, and tying all that happens into God’s big story. Wonderful!

Customer reviews

Dec. 12, 2023

“Thoroughly delightful.”

A beautifully written book. A wonderful reminder and unfolding of God's promises about his Messiah from the point of view of the primary witnesses.
I've enjoyed reading it to my children during this season of Advent. If their nightly reminder is any indication, I think they've also enjoyed listening along.

Jan. 2, 2023

“Used as a Giveaway”

We were looking for a giveaway book for teens in our community. This fit the bill really well.

Jan. 26, 2022

“Brings the real Christmas to life”

Absolutely brilliant retelling of the Christmas story for both kids and grown ups. We laughed out loud with Boaz the donkey, and cried alongside Joseph and Mary. It brings the Christmas story home in a very real and understandable way. We especially valued the way it ties the NT events to the OT prophecies, and the questions at the back. Utterly brilliant. Made me realise afresh how scandalous Jesus' birth was. The only slight hesitation I would flag is that Mary having a baby in her tummy without Joseph, raises all kinds of questions which some parents might prefer not to open at the stage their children are at.

Dec. 13, 2021

“Ideal for young readers”

I enjoyed reading this and the copies I sent to my grandkids were very well received. It's ideal for young readers to get them involved in the Christmas story. The inclusion of the stories of the minor characters added mystery and drama, but did not detract from the true story. A beautiful book and not just for the youngsters.

Dec. 6, 2021

“A great retelling of the Christmas story”

This is a delightful and imaginitive re telling of the very familiar story, which adds a real freshness and Biblical insights which I really enjoyed, and indeed learned from. Great for family advent studies, suitable for junior age plus,and very conveniently divided into 25 readings. I expect many families will use this annually

Dec. 6, 2021

“A triumph!”

I absolutely love The Promise and the Light! I know I'm not exactly the target audience (slight understatement there!) but reading it gave such a freshness to what can be an over-familiar story. Whilst including what we do actually know as fact (and I did greatly appreciate the section at the back which sorts fact from Christmas fiction), Katy Morgan really does bring the personalities to life. Mary and Joseph feel like real people complete with faults, failings, frustrations, embarrassment, humour and fear. I thought that the way Morgan presents Mary's devotion to God is deftly handled. The invention of characters with whom the major players can interact is pure genius in terms of what we are able to learn about the culture and context of the story, without feeling that we are being lectured. I loved it! Having started reading it just as a story, I actually ended up using it in my quiet times for the week. I raved about it to the others involved in our youth group and likened it to The Chosen which is a series that many of them have watched. I've now handed it over to one of the church families, whose daughter IS in the target age group and look forward to hearing her response. Many congratulations to all involved. A triumph!

Nov. 17, 2021

“An imaginative retelling of Christmas for all ages!”

The month of December is nearly here, and this new book from The Good Book Co. is perfect for the child and/or teenager in your life—or really anyone who enjoys imagining what the Christmas story would feel like from the perspective of those living it. In The Promise and the Light, Katy Morgan takes readers on a journey through the perspectives of Joseph, Mary, and Zechariah, reliving the social expectations of ancient life, the unexpected interruptions of heavenly messengers, and the wonder surrounding the birth of the promised savior. Weaving together the well-known nativity stories with important Old Testament connections as well as imagined interactions, Morgan helps readers understand the significance of the Christmas story within history and feel the emotional weight of the Light that entered the world in the form of a baby.

Morgan writes, “Israel had been a land of promise, once. The Israelites had been led there by their God. They had settled, grown crops, raised children, fought wars, won victories… They had been a mighty nation, a contented people. But now blood seeped through the ground and fire crackled in the air. Thousands were led away as captives. All that remained was distress and fearful gloom. And yet… Into the darkness came—not light, no, not yet. But a promise…

The years became centuries. Still they waited. Not all of them, no, but some. There had been a promise, and it gave hope to those who remembered it. There was still so much darkness. But one day… one day, the promise said, there would be light.”

Nov. 11, 2021

“Engaging and embellished retelling of the Christmas story.”

I’m currently reading this with my 6 year-old daughter as a bedtime book. It’s a fantastic re-telling of the Christmas story. Each chapter is told from the perspective of either Mary, Joseph, or Zechariah and engages the reader to ponder what the birth of Jesus would’ve been like for these people. Each chapter springboards from actual Scripture and then the author embellishes from there, but in keeping with the historical narrative of the Old Testament. While she fictionalizes the story, it’s never taken out of context or modernized in an inappropriate way. She does introduce characters and subplots not within the Bible, though.

I greatly appreciate the notes at the end of the book which detail which Bible verses the author pulled from, what she made up, and other historical research. This has been especially helpful for my young child, who I know is 2 years younger than the intended audience, but thoroughly enjoys the book anyways. She’s constantly asking me “is that true?” as we read the each chapter. It’s challenging and reaffirming her own understanding of the Biblical account of the Christmas story which has opened the door to many discussions about the inerrancy of the Bible.

One thing that I don’t like about the book is that the author included the word “idiot” a couple of times, which is just a word I don’t like in general and was disappointed to see in a children’s book about the Christmas story.

Nov. 3, 2021

“An age-old story told from an marvellous new angle!”

I am not going to lie, I was a little cautious with adaptions of biblical narratives. There is a danger of both importing our modern sensibilities and culture into the text and trivialising the biblical event itself. Fortunately, Katy Morgan has carefully and skillfully crafted a very engaging retelling of the Nativity.

Rather than simply playing on similar beats that are found in countless portrayals we have all watched or read, this novel goes off the beaten track, raising and answering questions that are rarely considered. Historical and biblical context is on full display, providing an excellent foundation for discussions with younger readers. The distinction between what we know to be true and the author's speculation is also clearly outlined in chapter summaries at the back of the book, which is a very welcome and helpful addition.

You really do grasp the feeling of hopelessness and abandonment that the people of God would have undoubtedly felt during this period of silence and political turmoil. Katy really helps readers to relate to the very real challenges and dilemmas that Mary and Joeseph faced. Often the Christmas Story is told breakneck pace, making the central characters feel a little lifeless. Here though, the narrative is slower and much more 3 dimensional.

The Promise and the Light will provide church kids with a fascinating new angle to approach the wonderful story that they are more than familiar with. It would be an excellent read to close off a family Bible study. For those less familiar with the Christmas story, this would be an excellent introduction. Either way, this book is delightful and well-written. Well done Katy!

PS - I absolutely love the cover!

Sept. 26, 2021


This was such a fun book! Although Katy Morgan wrote this book for young children, ages 8-12 yrs, I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult.

The premise of the story is a retelling of Jesus' birth through the eyes of Mary, Joseph and Zechariah. Morgan does an amazing job of bringing such insight to their specific viewpoints of Jesus' birth.

Morgan's writing style is so engaging. She does a wonderful job of weaving scripture and other biblical insights throughout each story.

I have always been hesitant regarding retellings of Scripture. It can be fun, but ultimately the retellings bring in details that are the author's creative mind and not part of the true Scripture story. Thus, it can confuse young readers of what exactly is the truth and what is simply embellishment from the author.

I greatly appreciate Morgan's conclusion to her novel - Notes. This section is exactly what I wish every retelling would include. She begins this section with the following: " If you're wondering which bits of The Promise and The Light we know for certain and which bits I've invented, you've come to the right place. These notes explain some of the decisions I made and point you to the Bible passages which contain the original accounts." She lays out specific scripture references for each chapter along with her detailed explanation regarding her creativity and Scriptural truth.

She also structured the book with some genius intent: with 25 chapters, the reader can read one chapter per day to follow the advent calendar. This is very doable for children 8-12 yrs as the chapters are short enough.

I received a copy of this book from The Good Book Company in exchange for an honest review.

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The Promise and the Light | Katy Morgan |
$14.99 $8.99