CELEBRATION SONG by James Berry

CELEBRATION SONG

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Jamaican-born poet and novelist Berry's (The Future-Telling Lady, 1993, etc.) first picture book is an ode to baby Jesus on his first birthday. In a Caribbean setting, Mary offers a beautiful rhyming poem to celebrate the baby's birth: the simple beginning in a ""cattle-feeding trough,"" the star that guided the magi, the happiness in the world since Jesus' birth. Mary talks to Jesus about their life together and the tenderness she feels for him. She wonders what will happen to them when her baby grows up: ""Yet also I ask this:/when your childhood has gone -- /my mothering long done -- /will your day still be one/long long celebration day?"" Unfortunately, the language is a little difficult for children: ""jubilation,"" ""choral,"" ""astrologer."" And the accompanying paintings -- vague, wispy watercolors that are almost as difficult to decipher as the words -- are little help. Still, a lovely poem that offers a tropical backdrop instead of a white Christmas.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
Page count: 28pp
Publisher: S&S