Grade 3-5-This title portrays the diversity of Christmas celebrations around the world. After briefly touching on pre-Christian influences on this holiday, Heiligman establishes that much of the world celebrates Christmas to commemorate Jesus Christ's birth. She covers such aspects as: Advent, religious services, gift giving, remembering the poor, seasonal decorations, food, music, Christmas Eve activities, and visits from Santa Claus or the Three Kings. Engaging full-color, captioned photographs don the pages, filling the book with a festive and joyous images: a huge Santa sculpture fashioned out of sand on a beach in India; a Christmas market in Innsbruck, Austria; a Spaniard dressed as one of the Three Kings gives a gift to an ailing child lying in a hospital bed; and a Christmas Eve Mass in Lalitpur, Nepal. Readers of all ages will enjoy comparing their own traditions with other Christmas festivities from around the globe. The book ends with a prayer for peace. A section at the back contains assorted Christmas facts, information on Three King's Day, a recipe, an activity to do as family, suggested books and websites, and a letter from an Episcopalian priest. This title is an intriguing overview of worldwide Christmas celebrations, however, it does not cover Las Posadas-an important festivity in the Latino culture. The translation adequately conveys a simple and flowing text. Recommended for public and school libraries.
Reviewed on: 10/27/2008 Release date: 10/01/2008 Genre: Children's