Books by Harry Simeone

Released: Sept. 17, 2001

The contemporary Christmas carol comes to life through marvelously detailed illustrations that depict the people and landscapes of the desert. The range of expression in Rodanas's (Follow the Stars, not reviewed, etc.) characters' faces and body language truly makes this special. Atop a camel, brightly tasseled and belled, one of the three kings beckons kindly to the boy, welcoming him to join the journey. Warm reds and yellows dominate the desert scenes, as the travelers follow the star and wind their way toward the manger. The illustrations are filled with textures—from the boy's ragged clothing and the wooden manger filled with hay, to the lamb's soft wool. When it is his turn to present his gift, the boy stands shyly before the baby, "I am a poor boy too." Then, hope springs when he realizes he can give the gift of his playing. Together, the donkey and lamb keep time with the ox, whose foreleg is a blur of motion. With the help of a feathery-winged angel shining in the background, the little drummer boy plays his best, and the baby smiles. As he leaves the manger, still softly playing his drum, his expression shows his pride in sharing his wonderful gift. A beautiful demonstration of the true meaning of Christmas. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >