cover image All I Want for Christmas Is You

All I Want for Christmas Is You

Mariah Carey, illus. by Colleen Madden. Doubleday, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-55139-0

How do you take a song with a line like “I just want you here tonight,/ holding on to me so tight” and make it work in a children’s book? Turn it into a story about a girl who wants a pet dog more than anything for Christmas. Using this approach, Carey’s classic 1994 Christmas song translates quite well to the picture book format and audience. Madden’s artwork is integral to the book’s success, adding humorous touches throughout: her heroine (whose ash-blonde hair sweeps in front of one eye in a very Careylike manner) spends her pre-Christmas days baking dog-shaped cookies, making dog-themed ornaments, and building a snowdog, surrounded by a multicultural cast of children and adults. Does Santa “make [her] wish come true?” Well, mom does. The repetitiveness of the lyrics is noticeable, but since most families will be singing, not reading, along with this one, it’s hardly a problem. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Simon Green, CAA. Illustrator’s agent: Mela Bolinao, MB Artists. (Nov.)