Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Picture Books - Christmas for 10

A few months after Sprout joined our family, I picked up a board book copy of Cathryn Falwell's Feast for 10 at a used bookstore. I was excited to see it because there's such a lack of board book titles with characters of color (really. . . take a look sometime at the library or bookstore and you'll see for yourself!) Little did I know then that it would become part of our family's bedtime reading canon. Rarely a week has gone by without us reading Feast for 10 multiple times. Sprout can just about read it to me, at this point!

So with the holidays coming around it was a no-brainer for us to get Christmas for 10. Like Feast, this is a super-simple counting-based plot that revolves around an African American family preparing for a celebration. This time the grandparents are in on the prep work, helping to decorate the tree and reading holiday stories to the little ones. The entire family's involved in getting ready, especially with the fun parts, like stringing popcorn chains. As Sprout always says, yum!

This is a comforting book about family and the excitement of preparing to welcome guests. Falwell's illustrations are engaging and delightful, and I appreciate that she adds small touches that personalize the characters, like older sister's ever-present braid and the variety of skin tones among family members. Sprout likes to point out each character in turn, particularly his favorite: "cute baby".

Again, the emphasis here isn't on gifts -- in fact, the only spread that features gifts at all ("six presents to stack") is opposite a page about giving to others, as the family packs food baskets which appear to be for needy families. And I love, love, love that there are two angels in the family's display -- one white, one black. Yay!

1 comment:

Cathryn Falwell said...

I am so delighted that you enjoy both "Feast for 10" and "Christmas for 10". They've been around for a long time. I really enjoyed making them, and I'm glad they are still read! Merry Christmas.