cover image And Then Comes Christmas

And Then Comes Christmas

Tom Brenner, illus. by Jana Christy. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5342-2

Returning to the sequential narrative style of And Then Comes Halloween, Brenner alternates between sentences beginning with “When” and those starting with “Then,” lyrically evoking a shift in seasons: “When the days barely start and they’re over again, and red berries blaze against green shrubs, and bare branches rake across the sky... Then hang boughs of fir or spruce or pine, dotted with cones and bits of holly, welcoming winter.” The text describes holiday traditions generally, while Christy’s (A Year with Friends) digital art—suggestive of watercolors scribbled over with crayon and pencil—personalizes the story, showing two siblings visiting a department store Santa, selecting and decorating a Christmas tree with their parents, and making and wrapping homemade presents. The contrast between the cool palette of snowy outdoor scenes and cozy interior settings is as pleasing as this family’s palpable affection. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agency: Shannon Associates. (Sept.)