Great Joy

Kate DiCamillo, Author, Bagram Ibatoulline, Illustrator , illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. Candlewick $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-2920-5

With spot-on storytelling rhythms and pacing, Newbery Medalist DiCamillo spins a tale of compassion and holiday warmth from a most unlikely image. Frances is so preoccupied by the hard-luck organ grinder and monkey she can see from her apartment window that it's hard to focus on the fast-approaching church Christmas pageant. It's not until the man and monkey make their way to the performance (at Frances's invitation) that her words, “Behold! I bring you tidings of great joy,” make perfect sense to her. Ibatoulline's (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane ) WWII-era scenes have a subdued yet comforting glow, illuminated by streetlamps and stage lights. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/22/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
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