A Simple Christmas on the Farm

Phyllis Alsdurf, illus. by Lisa Hunt. Beaming, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5064-7136-5

Alsdurf and Hunt parallel a family’s “simple” farm Christmas and the holiday’s biblical beginnings in this picture book with a back-to-basics message. When the biracial narrator’s brown-skinned mother says “we’re keeping things simple this year,” the protagonist has misgivings. Soon, however, those transition to excitement as the family chooses a “small, scraggly” tree in the woods; makes goodies, gifts, and decorations; and invites members of their rural community to a potluck dinner in the family’s barn. Reportorial first-person narration ends each page with “Christmas on the farm,” and a Christmas Eve service that highlights the Christ child’s barnyard birth finally sees the protagonist excited about their own pared-down celebration. Unlined illustrations focus on domestic details, perpetually snowy farm landscapes, and smiling characters of various skin tones. Instructions for three holiday crafts follow. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
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