IN THE NICK OF TIME by Deedee Cummings


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In this picture book from the team of Cummings and Mosley (This Is Earth, 2019), a boy accidentally receives a letter for Santa and discovers the real Christmas spirit.

Nick Saint, a boy with brown skin and a flattop haircut, is mostly interested in playing video games. He’s frustrated when the postal carrier mistakenly delivers a letter addressed to Santa rather than his new video game. But the letter begins to show Nick a new world. One of his classmates, Cooper, has lost his home, and he asks Santa for a new job for his mother and a truck for his brother. Nick realizes that he has so much more than others: “Never did it cross Nick’s mind that every child in his school did not have a home or even, video games to play.” He tries to find a way to help Cooper, and although the solution comes a bit too easily, Nick’s transformation from a child concerned with material things to a kid who wants to help others rings true. Cummings’ heavy use of untagged dialogue may leave some readers puzzled, but the interactions between Nick and his mom are authentic, and his parents’ support is admirable. Mosley’s textured cartoon illustrations, which feature painterly backgrounds, ground the story beautifully.

This engaging holiday tale gives children—like the protagonist—a chance to investigate their own privilege.

ISBN: 978-1-951218-20-1
Publisher: Make A Way Media, LLC
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2019