UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE by Nikki Grimes
Kirkus Star

UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

Grimes (Talkin’ About Bessie, p. 1530, etc.) explores the Christmas season through a poetic prism, examining both positive and negative aspects of the holiday. In 23 poems, most focusing on one African-American family, she explores traditions such as unpacking decorations, big holiday dinners, shopping trips, playing in the snow, and ice skating. Other poems sensitively examine giving to others and the place of Jesus in the season. Grimes works effectively in a wide variety of poetic formats, from haiku to free verse to traditional rhyme schemes, with many poems in the first-person voice of the little girl shown with her mother and siblings on the rather dark cover. Many of the illustrations from rising star Nelson (Please, Baby, Please, p. 1533, etc.) are set at night and use this same subdued, candlelit effect. In the most memorable spread, the dramatic poem “Christmas Eve” captures the excitement of the special church service with the congregation “slightly giddy / And primed / For miracles.” The powerful facing illustration shows the little girl’s candle being lit by her father, passing along the flame of faith to his child. The final poem reprises this sentiment in a gentle haiku describing an angel (her daddy) kissing his daughter good-night. Both poetry and art succeed in being forceful without being preachy and sweet without being saccharine. (Poetry. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-688-15999-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2002




KADIR NELSON:

Children DANCING IN THE WINGS by Debbie Allen
by Debbie Allen
Children SALT IN HIS SHOES by Deloris Jordan
by Deloris Jordan
Children JUST THE TWO OF US by Will Smith
by Will Smith
Children THE VILLAGE THAT VANISHED by Ann Grifalconi
by Ann Grifalconi

MORE BY NIKKI GRIMES

ChildrenWORDS WITH WINGS by Nikki Grimes
by Nikki Grimes
ChildrenPLANET MIDDLE SCHOOL by Nikki Grimes
by Nikki Grimes
ChildrenALMOST ZERO by Nikki Grimes
by Nikki Grimes

MORE BY KADIR NELSON

ChildrenBABY BEAR by Kadir Nelson
by Kadir Nelson
ChildrenNELSON MANDELA by Kadir Nelson
by Kadir Nelson
ChildrenI HAVE A DREAM by Kadir Nelson
by Martin Luther King