CHRISTMAS LIGHTS by Ann Fearrington


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 9
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 A family loads into their station wagon on a dark, cold Christmas night to view lights on trees, spires, apartment balconies, factories, and office buildings, then arrives home where ``last year, this year, every year, we love our own lights best of all.'' The brief text is more sightseeing than story. Alliteration abounds as the family witnesses ``twin trains'' reflected in a pond, ``streams of stars'' at the artist's house, and a ``smiling snowman'' atop the fast-food place. But for a book that features lights, the illustrations are surprisingly sleepy. One spread boasts ``a house so bright we can almost hear the lights: blink, blink, dazzle, flash. Gleam, glow, sparkle, shine!'' To readers, the house looks dull and subdued. Fearrington captures the expectation of magic around the next corner, but never delivers. The book, without enough contrast to show either the exuberant blinking lights that punctuate the darkness or the hush of paper lanterns lining a street, acts more as a remembrance of the ritual than a conveyance of its thrills. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-395-71036-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1996