Sunday, December 19, 2010
What's Coming for Christmas? Written by Kate Banks and illustrated by George Hallensleben. Farrar, Douglas & McIntyre. 2009. $18.95 ages 3 and up
"Something was coming.
You could see it in the way the snow
whirled and twirled, making hills and
In the way the children lay in snowbanks
making angels, their arms spread wide as
if to say, 'Welcome.'"
Is there anything more exciting than the joy that Christmas brings to little ones? Their eyes dance, along with their feet, and each day seems to drag by as they wonder 'how many more?'
As the days pass slowly, there is opportunity to revel in the preparations that have become traditions in family celebrations. They build their snowman (if they have snow like we do!), watch the sparkle and drip of the icicles, listen to the carolers and trim the tree. The children in this story are filled with anticipation for what is to come. They can feel it in the air.
But, while they are consumed with their own doings, they are oblivious to the happenings outside, near the barn:
"But no one heard the jingle of cowbells.
Or the shushing of the mother hen quieting
No one, no one, no one."
On Christmas morning, the children find that someone has left gifts under the tree and eaten the snacks provided. Outside, they make another very special discovery:
"But in the morning, everyone knew that something had come."
This new collaboration from two very talented artists provides a heartwarming and gentle reminder of the meaning of the season. The detailed illustrations give young listeners a sense of the many delights to be found and celebrated as they await 'what's coming'.