Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER by Chih-Yuan Chen Kirkus Star


by Chih-Yuan Chen & illustrated by Chih-Yuan Chen

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-9762056-2-9
Publisher: Heryin

The quietest, calmest Christmas story ever has to be this gentle, understated tale of a family having a meaningful Christmas despite hard times. Father Bear’s business has failed and he can’t find work. There is no money for presents. Mother Bear sews some decorations, Father Bear makes a tree out of loose branches and Little Bear, the youngest child of three, quietly finds a simple but meaningful present for each family member. The presents are all personal items that have been lost: an umbrella, a kite, a button, a hat. Each one is wrapped and placed under the tree, and the tiny footprints in the flour “snow” beneath the tree seem to indicate that the presents were left not by Father Christmas, but by a mysterious “Toddler Christmas.” Little Bear is very unobtrusive in his acquisition of these items, so the reader must go back to see him finding each thing and making his preparations. The minimalist illustrations in a subdued palette convey the sadness of the parents, the hope of the children and the pleasure experienced in simple gifts. (Picture book. 3-7)