’Tis the night before Christmas for twins Luke and Lottie.
In this Dutch/Flemish import, a pair of twins celebrate Christmas Eve with their parents and grandparents. All characters appear white in the cartoon, digital illustrations, with light skin and straight, brown hair, though the grandparents’ hair is gray. The straightforward text depicts the children buying, setting up, and decorating their Christmas tree with their parents. They even make cookies to hang on its branches. Then they get dressed up for a festive dinner with their grandparents. The family exchanges gifts that night, a tradition many readers will recognize, though it’s not one often represented in American picture books. Finally, after singing carols together, a sibling gift exchange at book’s end sweetly has the brother and sister give each other their respective favorite toys. The closing exclamation, “Merry Christmas,” not to mention the book’s very title, belies the fact that the whole story takes place on Christmas Eve, not Christmas Day, which is a shame since that’s what makes this otherwise understated book stand out.
A merry little Christmas Eve story. (Picture book. 3-7)