cover image It’s Christmas Everywhere: Celebrations from Around the World

It’s Christmas Everywhere: Celebrations from Around the World

Hannah Barnaby, illus. by João Fazenda. Phaidon, $19.95 (26p) ISBN 978-1-83866-539-5

Told from the perspective—and taking the physical shape—of a pine yearning to be a “real Christmas tree,” this uneven novelty book introduces various celebrations worldwide via a 10-day Christmas countdown. Shown in Fazenda’s jam-packed illustrations, Barnaby’s simple rhyming text reveals Christmas traditions from across the globe, including barbecuing on the beach in Australia, playing Ye’gena Chewata in Ethiopia, and singing door to door in Greece. The tree, of Anglo-Germanic origins, seems a poor framing for some traditions, and the mix of holiday countdown and world tour can feel difficult to track, but concise background information helpfully supplements each poem. The lines about a Chinese tradition, for example (“A friend with an apple,/ a message of joy”), are followed by an explanation about the “modern tradition to give apples as gifts for Christmas.” It’s a gently elucidative mishmash with a festival vibe. Ages 2–5. (Oct.)