Muldrow continues to mine the Golden Books archive, this time with a Christmas focus (Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book, 2013).
“Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and all, but… // there’s just so much to do. / All that baking, // the endless cycle of cooking and cleaning, // and the rounds of social obligations… / when you could be taking a nap. Can we just call the Christmas season what it really is? // Cold and flu season!” Having clearly defined her audience as an adult one, Muldrow goes on to enumerate everything else there is not to like about Christmas, before rallying herself to deliver a pep talk. Strewing her text with exclamation marks galore, she celebrates “The writing, the mailing! / The jolly wassailing!” before taking a turn to earnest sentimentality to touch upon the Nativity and hopes for peace. As in the first of these repurposed compilations, the illustrations outshine the text, with glorious images, mostly lithographs, from such lights as Garth Williams, Richard Scarry, Leonard Weisgard and Mary Blair. Unfortunately, accomplished as the illustrations are, the overall effect is hopelessly white-bread; just two of the 96 pages include images of children of color. Although there are many animals, the relentless parade of idealized white face after idealized white face is downright depressing and, in this year of #weneeddiversebooks, calls the entire enterprise into question.
An opportunistic, retrograde novelty. (Picture book. Adult)