It’s Christmas Everywhere: Celebrations from Around the World

Phaidon. Oct. 2022. 26p. Board $19.95. ISBN 9781838665395.
PreS-Gr 1–A tree-shaped board book. One half is a countdown to Christmas poem; the other is mostly informational text about Christmas tree traditions around the world. The poem begins, “Ten days until Christmas!/ How I wish I could be/ Not just a plain pine,/ But a real Christmas tree.” What follows is a series of visits from friends bearing ornaments representative of nine different cultures. By the time Christmas Day dawns, piñatas from Mexico, cobwebs from Ukraine, boats from Greece, and seashells from “countries like Australia, Brazil and South Africa,” among others, adorn the tree in its wintry forest setting. The poem unfolds on the verso, while a cursory explanation of the culturally significant ornament is offered on the recto. The tree on each page is illustrated either with a scene from the featured country or with children placing the representative ornaments on the narrating tree. The digitally created artwork is joyful and includes children with diverse skin tones and hairstyles. Bright colors and forest animals add to the lighthearted tone. The book contains magnetic pages that offer a free-standing, decorative option when it is not being read. The unique design will interest some readers, and preschoolers will enjoy the poem and artwork. The informational text can be used as an introduction to exploring holiday traditions.
VERDICT An additional purchase for libraries in need of Christmas nonfiction.

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