Esther’s Miracle at the Manger by Mitzi Probert,
illustrated by Ty Schafrath

(Suggested reading level: Kindergarten thru Grade 3)

I have to admit that I’ve known Mitzi for years, but I didn’t know that she had written a children’s book until she did a talk at one of our Wednesday church services a few weeks ago. She talked about the journey she took from coming up with the story to actually having it published and then read the story.

This is a cute Christmas story that was actual event. Esther, a young cow, is leery of being in the living nativity at a local church. When she arrives, instead of joining the other animals, she gets scared and takes off running down the highway. To escape from the noise and flashing police lights, she jumps in the river. She does make it to the other side, but she’s still lost. After days of being hungry, lonely and tired, she finds her way to another farm where a friendly cow tells her all about the Christmas story, and that animals just like them welcomed the Baby Jesus and kept Him warm.

“I didn’t really know we cows were that important back then, much less now. I guess I was wrong.” (pg 35)

Esther does make it back to the nativity and feels proud to play her part.

It’s a fun, meaningful story for this time time of year. It tells the true story of Christmas and also, through Esther, we learn that everyone is special and important to God.

According to Mitzi and the note in the back of the book, the true Esther ran away from a church in Toronto, Ohio and jumped into the Ohio River several miles upstream. There’s a picture in the book showing Esther in the river near the Sammis plant. To be honest, I’m surprised she made it across. She was found 10 days later near New Manchester, West Virginia. Maybe that’s part of why I enjoyed the book: the local connection.

If you’re looking for a new addition to your box of Christmas books, you can purchase Esther’s Miracle at the Manger on

44 pages
Published July 28, 2010 by Zulon


I purchased my copy and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon associate.


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