cover image O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree

Vashanti Rahaman. Boyds Mills Press, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56397-237-9

His home in the West Indies is about as far from a white Christmas as you can get, but young Anslem still longs for snow and an evergreen tree to decorate: ""All this thing we does sing about in Christmas carol, I never hope to see that,"" he thinks disconsolately. Eventually, the island atmosphere, with its unique smells of fresh ginger beer and smoked ham over the fire, convinces Anslem that there's more to a holiday celebration than having a tree and building a snowman. In her ambient text and in an enlightening endnote, Rahaman shares Christmas customs, Caribbean style. Lessac's (Not a Copper Penny in Me House) accomplished gouache artwork bursts with splashes of red poinsettia and showcases breezy island backgrounds. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)