Sunday, December 9, 2007

Great Joy

Great Joy
By Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by Bangram Ibatoulline
Candlewick, 2007

If you are looking for a quiet, beautifully illustrated Christmas story, then you will like this book. Frances watches a homeless man on the street outside her apartment that plays music for people and has a monkey. Frances is heartbroken when she realizes he stays out in the cold all of the time.

She watches the man from her window. He even waves at her at night. Her mother doesn’t want her to associate with him, despite Frances’ pleas to invite him over for dinner. She invites him to her Christmas play where she will say the infamous line that Christmas angels say, “Behold! I bring you tidings of great joy!”

I like Kate DiCamillo’s chapter books much better, but this story is a soft, enchanted Christmas story.

This book was nominated for the Cybils fiction picture book category.

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