Will Jingles the cat’s yuletide mischief ruin Christmas for everyone?
In this lengthy picture book with a diminutive trim size, a family deals with their new kitten’s shenanigans at Christmastime. Before Jingles eats Christmas (as foretold by the title), he breaks it by destroying decorations, tearing wrapping paper off gifts, and then knocking over the tree. While this is upsetting (especially for little Rose), the family rallies and carries on with their day, and they’re excited to go get Grandma and bring her to their house for a special turkey dinner. But then, in the titular twist that will remind fans of the film A Christmas Story of the fate that befalls little Ralphie’s family’s holiday meal, Jingles sneaks to the kitchen while the family is out and gobbles up the turkey, leaving a huge mess. These feline hijinks are met with patience after Rose’s initial wail, but Jingles disappears in disgrace while everyone cleans up. Sharp-eyed readers will see that he’s stowed away in Grandma’s bag, but the family frets while he’s missing. A joyful reunion the next day affirms their unconditional love for their naughty kitten. Throughout, the tightly written, humorous text is enhanced by Docherty’s exuberant grayscale illustrations with Christmassy red embellishments. The family is an interracial one; Mom appears black, Dad and Grandma white, and the three children, Alex, Lily, and Rose, biracial.
Kids will eat this up, no matter the season. (Picture book. 6-9)