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A YEAR FULL OF HOLIDAYS by Susan Middleton Elya


by Susan Middleton Elya & illustrated by Diana Cain Bluthenthal

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-399-23733-1
Publisher: Putnam

Young children who are always looking forward to the next holiday (and the adults they pester) will appreciate this one, as long as they are white Americans of the basically Judeo-Christian variety. To bouncy rhyming verse, readers follow five-year-old Nell from her birthday in August (since August lacks a holiday), through each month’s holidays and back again: Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day and the Fourth of July. Both the verses and Bluthenthal’s colorful illustrations reflect a return to the Leave-It-to-Beaver idea of families—a Caucasian Christian family with a Mom, Dad and one child, with celebrations that include extended family and friends. They also represent the traditional activities that go with each holiday—a barbecue for Labor Day, dyeing eggs for Easter and a parade on the Fourth of July. Preschool and kindergarten teachers will find this a tool of limited utility, as they will have to look elsewhere for holidays outside the Christian tradition and for alternative-family arrangements. (Picture book. 3-5)