UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE

Nikki Grimes, Author, Kadir Nelson, Illustrator , illus. by Kadir Nelson. HarperCollins $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-688-15999-3

With any luck, Santa's sack will be filled with copies of this gem of a picture book. Grimes (Meet Danitra Brown) offers glimpses of Christmastime from a child's eyes, in the form of 23 poems that shine with all the hallmarks of the season. Her text is universal in sentiment, but telling in its detail, as when a child waits for her candle to be lit at a Christmas Eve service ("Two-handed, I manage/ To hold my candle still,/ My heart thundering until/ The flame is finally/ Passed to me") or dreams of joining the skaters she watches, carving figure eights in an ice rink. Nelson's (Big Jabe) tender oil paintings feature African-American children and their families, churchgoers and multi-ethnic passersby on city streets. Expert lighting suffuses his interiors with a golden holiday glow. All ages. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/23/2002
Release date: 10/01/2002
Genre: Religion
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-688-16000-5
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