Kirkus Reviews QR Code
LET IT GLOW by Owen Gildersleeve


A Winter's Walk

by Owen Gildersleeve ; illustrated by Owen Gildersleeve

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: Dec. 5th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-78603-030-6
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

A young boy’s way is lit by LED streetlights and stars as he walks home through snowy scenes on Christmas Eve.

The five white lights, which don’t “twinkle” as advertised but are very bright, are revealed one at a time through small die-cut holes as the lad carries a wrapped gift past pastel shops (this is a fairly commercialized version of the holiday) and houses, a fair, carolers, a pond where “skaters form a whirling swirl / of pink-cheeked boys and giggling girls,” and so home to hang one more shining star on his tree. The text accompanying this action implies that he takes the star out of the box he’s been carrying, but the box remains wrapped in the illustration, and his stiff-armed pose will have many readers wondering exactly what he’s doing. The boy and most of the figures in Gildersleeve’s neatly composed cut-paper collages are white, but the carolers include three with diverse shades of brown skin, and among the skaters is a biracial couple holding a child’s hands. A tiny switch turns the lights on and off, and the batteries are replaceable. Aside from the tree, silhouetted steeples in the background are the only hint that the holiday has a religious significance too.

A pretty, if also pretty bland, commemoration. (Novelty. 5-7)