For teachers desperate for a different take on the traditional Christmas play, Cat in the Manger by Michael Foreman (Andersen Press pound;9.99) could be a lifeline.
The Nativity is seen through the eyes of the stable's resident moggy. The cat is not keen on its housemates - paticularly the donkeys - and becomes extremely uppity when turned out of the manger.
Foreman's narrative illustrations are beautifully atmospheric, bringing the story's drama to the fore as they pan across double pages. A touch sentimental, but a pleasing book.