by Terry M. Wildman, Ramone Romero (illustrator)
Birth of the Chosen One is a book for children of all ages. Forty-four pages of original story and full-color illustrations.
The text is from the First Nations Version Project of the story of Jesus’ birth taken from Matthew and Luke. This is the first in a series of books called the First Nations Version Project.
It is illustrated by many beautiful paintings from the artist Ramone Romero of Cherokee and Aztec ancestry. He lives in Osaka Japan.
Here are some samples of the story and art.
“He has remembered his ancient promises, made to our ancestors since the beginning of time, and the peace-treaty he made with Father-of-many-nations. He has come to set us free so we can walk in his good and sacred ways without having to fear our enemies who surround us. “And you my son, will be a holy-man from the One-above-us-all. You will make a clear path for the coming of the Grand-chief, to show his people that he will help us by cleansing us from our bad hearts and wrong doings. Because Creator is kind and gentle, he will come to us as the sunrise from above, to shine on the ones who sit in darkness and in the land of death’s shadow, to guide our feet on the good road of peace.”
“From deep in my heart I dance with joy to honor the Great Spirit. Even though I am small and weak he noticed me, now I will be looked up to by all. The Mighty-one has lifted me up! His name is sacred, he is the Great-and-holy-one.” Her face seemed to shine as she continued. “He shows kindness and mercy to both children and elders who respect him. His strong arm has brought low the ones who think they are better than others. He counts-coup with arrogant warrior-chiefs but puts a headdress of honor on those of a humble heart.”
All Text © 2013 Terry M. Wildman, All Rights Reserved, Permission to share granted when copyright and authorship are maintained. All Artwork/images © 2013 Ramone Romero, All Rights Reserved.
Terry Wildman has inherited a gift from his sacred-story-telling ancestors, and it is nowhere more on display than in his theologically test-worthy and thought-provoking retelling of the Christmas story.
Birth of the Chosen One is worthwhile not only for those of First Nations descent, but also for those who have heard the story of Jesus’ first advent over and over again.
It reads like an authentic First Nation’s legend while illuminating the meaning and significance of the enduring story in surprising ways.
I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend Terry’s spinning of the Messiah’s birth-tale.
Abbot, St. Patrick’s-by-the-Rivers Anglican Community
In “The Birth of the Chosen One” Terry Wildman tells the familiar story of the birth of Jesus Christ in the speaking style of Native American culture. It is a refreshing narrative with beautiful art work that helps tell the story. This will be a great way for families to share the Christmas story together, setting the stage for family discussions about our Native American friends. Wildman’s use of the meaning of names (for both people and places) throughout the story will engage you, capturing you to think about the key characters in a more personal way. Great for children, great for adults! Both the narrative and the art work make this book a delightful gift to give or receive.
Heartland Church, Fort Wayne Indiana
This morning we received 10 copies of “Birth of the Chosen One” from the First Nations Version of the Sacred Scriptures. One goes on our book shelf, one each to our adopted daughters (one of whom is half Native American) for their children, one to the daughter of a friend who is on an Ojibwe Tribal Council, one for each of our partners in ministry on the Sioux Reservations, and the remainder will go to whom Creator would have us give them to. This is a wonderful re-telling of the Nativity story, in a way that Native American people will find easy to relate to. Even if you are not Indian, you will love this version of the story. The illustrations, also by an Indian artist, are simply beautiful. As says on the title page, “Listen to the Christmas story again for the first time.” It will open the eyes of your heart.