A Christmas Too Big

Colleen Madden. Two Lions, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5420-2800-4

Fed up with her own family’s over-the-top Christmas-prep hoopla, pale-skinned Kerry helps her older, light brown–skinned neighbor Mrs. Flores with some groceries and is invited to stay for cocoa in this gentle intergenerational narrative. As the two speak in Spanish, Kerry observes Mrs. Flores’s tabletop Christmas tree adorned with colorful paper flowers, sitting alongside a photo of her family, who Kerry learns live in Mexico. Mrs. Flores teaches Kerry how to make the bright blossoms, and the two dance, sing, and “light a special candle.” In turn, Kerry shows Mrs. Flores how to use the tablet she’s been given to connect with her far-away loved ones. Madden’s bilingual tale strikes both humorous and poignant notes; the visual blend of comic-style panels, playful fonts, speech bubbles in both English and Spanish, and traditional spreads offers readers plenty to celebrate. Back matter includes a tutorial for Flores de Navidad. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)