Holiday Books, Part II
Lee, Mark. 20 Big Trucks in the Middle of Christmas. Illus. by Kurt Cyrus. Candlewick, 09/2021. [32p.] $17.99. 978-1-5362-1253-2.
In this follow up to 20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street (2013), different types of trucks bring items for the town square decorations in this rhyming story. Although the story mentions the trucks by name and number, no numerals are shown: “A snowplow and sander are trucks two and three.” The trucks are depicted in a realistic way (no eyes or mouths) which should please truck fans, and the story’s ending is clever. The townsfolk are shown with various skin tones to depict diversity. This will have wide appeal for those seeking a nonreligious holiday read-aloud.
Rice, Holly. 12 Days of Christmas Princess. Illus. by John John Bajet. Disney, 09/2021. [32p.] $12.99. 978-136807047-8.
This variation on the popular Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” features princess characters from Disney films. It begins “On the first day of Christmas, a princess gave to me…A red rose in a bell jar.” Eight princesses are featured, but only one is a person of color – Tiana from “Princess and the Frog.” Since four princesses are featured twice, why not add Mulan, Pocahontas, Moana, and Jasmine? The digital full color cartoon artwork is of Disney’s excellent standard, but the lack of diversity makes this flawed.
Moore, Clement C. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Illus. by P.J. Lynch. Candlewick, 11/2021. [32p.] $17.99. 978-1-5362-2285-2.
Any new version of this popular holiday poem is judged on the illustrations and if the poem is changed in any way. In this case, the poem is not abridged, so this is really all about the artwork. Lynch’s watercolor and gouache artwork is set in the 19th century at the time the poem was written, and the style is similar to illustrations of that time. Even though the poem is set at night, the artwork seems inordinately dark and won’t carry to a group, but is charming for one on one sharing.