Murray Christmas

Abrams. Sept. 2022. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781419753923.
PreS-Gr 1–Keller reinvents the goodwill chaos of Christmas, with its decorations, traditions, and beliefs, through Murray, a canine who does not understand why his humans are changing his world with this joyous upheaval. Murray’s sole job as “Patrol Dog” is to love his humans and home, and he is determined not to let anything stand in his way. When his family plants a tree in the house and hangs laundry (stockings) inside, Murray is on the prowl. Strange people singing on the doorstep and tiny cookie people are invading the house, so Murray does his best to stop these disturbances. However, it’s the introduction of the jolly man in the red suit that is the final straw. Keller’s digital art is vivid and detailed, with several spreads and wordless panels. Font choice and placement flows well, with splendid figurative language and opportunities to engage listeners with interactive questions. Although Murray’s family, two male figures and a female child, is delightful, it is Murray who steals the show.
VERDICT A first purchase. This is a perfect Christmas read-aloud; children will want to take this book—and Murray—home.

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