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by Anne Bowen & illustrated by Tomek Bogacki

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-57505-934-1
Publisher: Carolrhoda

Delightfully different illustrations in a naïf style are the glowing heart of this cheerful story of a little girl’s preparations for Christmas. Bogacki’s characters have the look of big, floppy rag dolls, and his flattened perspective, simple shapes and scratched details with the look of finger-painting add to the childlike appeal of his paintings. The cover shows the main character, Anna, reaching out for her baby brother, who is popping out of a package under the Christmas tree. This foreshadows the volume’s conclusion: that the new baby is the family’s best Christmas gift. In the story’s first-person narration, Anna tells her baby brother all about the holiday, using a repetitive structure that underscores the anticipatory nature of the season. She describes the stages of getting ready and each activity to her brother, explaining all their family traditions such as making cards and presents, choosing a tree, baking cookies and welcoming the grandparents. The linear timeline will, of course, help younger children listening to the story to understand the progression of the season, as well as provide a starting point for discussions of their own family Christmas traditions. (Picture book. 3-6)