Monday, December 3, 2007

The All I'll Ever Want Christmas Doll, Overview

This week, I'm reviewing two new books with a Christmas theme. Both are very different, but both are great picks if you're looking for something new for your child.

The first one is The All-I'll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll

Fast Facts:
Author: Patricia C. McKissack
Illustrator:Jerry Pinkney
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (September 11, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0375837590
ISBN-13: 978-0375837593

“Christmas always came to our house, but Santy Claus only showed up once in a while.” Can I just say, “Wow!” Upon reading this book’s first and mighty powerful sentence, I was hooked.

Set during the Great Depression, Nella Pearson and her family don’t have a lot. In fact, they have to line their walls with pages from the Pittsburgh Courier for insulation. But all Nella can think of is Santy Claus bringing her a brand new Baby Betty doll. When Christmas rolls around, Nella and her sisters get the doll much to their surprise and delight. Nella claims the doll for herself and sets off with her new friend, but soon finds that Baby Betty isn’t all she’s cracked up to be.

Patricia C. McKissack adds depth to the story through her realistic and often humorous dialogue. I found myself chuckling aloud as Nella gets more and more frustrated with Baby Betty’s lack of response to her singing and storytelling. And Jerry Pinkney brings the characters to life with his detailed, vibrant, and lifelike watercolor illustrations.

With the increasing commercialism of Christmas, The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll brings us back to earth and teaches us to appreciate what we have and that things are not more important than people.

This multiple award-winning team has created a heartwarming tale that is sure to become a classic.

Check in tomorrow for reading tips and learning activities.

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