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by B.G. Hennessy & illustrated by Dan Andreasen

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-399-23497-7
Publisher: Putnam

Anthropomorphic Christmas tree ornaments take center stage in this rather sentimental story about the first Christmas after a grandparent’s death. The six ornaments (a bell, a truck, a camel, a Santa, a skier, a star, and an angel) are part of the holiday traditions at Grandma Lily’s house, with the history of each ornament explained in detail. In this Christmas season, they are left in their box in the attic, because Grandma Lily has died (presumably), a fact handled somewhat awkwardly in the text. The ornaments reminisce sadly about past holidays in better times and then climb into an old dollhouse and prepare to celebrate Christmas “without a family,” though they seem to be an effective little family group all on their own. Grandma Lily’s grown son and his wife and children arrive on Christmas Day, retrieving the ornaments and making them happy by putting them on their Christmas tree. Andreasen’s illustrations of the individual ornaments have their own nostalgic charm as they light up their little corner of the otherwise dark and empty attic. Some readers will appreciate the idea of the continuing circle of family; others will find this a somber story for an ordinarily more cheerful time. (Picture book. 4-7)