THE CHRISTMAS HOUSE by Ann Turner

THE CHRISTMAS HOUSE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The spirit of Christmas is examined through the eyes of each member of a family, including pets, the table, even the house itself. An engaging idea, but the narrative design behind these 13 poems is indiscernible. Switch their order around and not much is lost. Therefore, each poem carries the burden of being a complete emotional experience unto itself. Some are strong enough to carry the weight (one of the best, almost like a haiku, relates the baby's simple wonder), but too often they fall short. We hear clearly the house's gathering spirit, the father's worry, and the grandfather's nostalgia, but the other siblings and animals are not convincing. Turner (A Moon for Seasons, p. 311, etc.) is less successful with this rather static volume than she has been in the past. The illustrations, though technically proficient, are strictly standard fare. Such a promising concept requires a visual and verbal feast -- like a roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings -- but all we get for this Christmas is white bread and thin gravy.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1994
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins