A Christmas too big

Colleen M. Madden

Book - 2021

Kerry's family goes berserk with Christmas every year, but Kerry needs a little peace and quiet. Her neighbor, Mrs. Flores, is having a quieter Christmas, with decorations and music from the country where she used to live.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room j394.2663/Madden Checked In
Christmas fiction
Picture books
Picture books for children
New York : Two Lions [2021]
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Main Author
Colleen M. Madden (author)
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Fed up with her own family's over-the-top Christmas-prep hoopla, pale-skinned Kerry helps her older, light brown--skinned neighbor Mrs. Flores with some groceries and is invited to stay for cocoa in this gentle intergenerational narrative. As the two speak in Spanish, Kerry observes Mrs. Flores's tabletop Christmas tree adorned with colorful paper flowers, sitting alongside a photo of her family, who Kerry learns live in Mexico. Mrs. Flores teaches Kerry how to make the bright blossoms, and the two dance, sing, and "light a special candle." In turn, Kerry shows Mrs. Flores how to use the tablet she's been given to connect with her far-away loved ones. Madden's bilingual tale strikes both humorous and poignant notes; the visual blend of comic-style panels, playful fonts, speech bubbles in both English and Spanish, and traditional spreads offers readers plenty to celebrate. Back matter includes a tutorial for Flores de Navidad. Ages 4--8. (Nov.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Kirkus Book Review

When Kerry needs a break from her family's Christmas overload, she discovers new traditions with her neighbor Mrs. Flores. From the day after Thanksgiving, Kerry's family goes "totally berzerk" with Christmas everything, all the time. Christmas lights, Christmas music, Christmas cookies, Christmas elves, Christmas specials on Christmas channels. Overwhelmed, Kerry goes outside, but there too, her neighbors' huge Christmas displays adorn their snow-covered lawns. Except at Mrs. Flores' house. Kerry greets her--in Spanish--and helps her with her groceries. Mrs. Flores invites Kerry in for cocoa. Kerry notices Mrs. Flores' small tabletop tree decorated only with paper flowers and accompanied by a photo of a family that she learns is in Mexico. Mrs. Flores teaches Kerry to make paper flowers. They sing and dance, decorate, and light a candle for Mrs. Flores' family. Then Kerry helps Mrs. Flores contact her family via a new tablet, a gift. Kerry brings new traditions home, and her mom suggests inviting Mrs. Flores over for Christmas dinner. Kerry and family are White; Mrs. Flores and family are brown-skinned with curly hair. The illustrations use speech bubbles in both English and Spanish to advance the story; the art perfectly reflects the overload, relief, and joy that Kerry experiences: Busy spreads give way to simpler ones, and a refreshing new color scheme is introduced with the paper flowers. (This book was reviewed digitally.) An intergenerational friendship and a busy holiday made meaningful set this title apart. (craft) (Picture book. 4-9) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.