Ages 4-9. The celebrity names will grab kids and their families--Debbie Allen, Whitney Houston, Kobe Bryant, Aretha Franklin, and more--but most of their one-page accounts sound pretty much the same. They are not really stories as much as warm, upbeat childhood memories of African American families exchanging gifts, preparing festivities, and sharing the feast. In the best pieces, the drama is in the personal detail. Denzel Washington remembers tiptoeing downstairs in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve and playing secretly with his new toys. As a child, Ananda Lewis didn't get along with her mom, but a few years ago they healed their relationship and "learned the true meaning of the holiday spirit." For Shaquille O'Neal, the best thing about Christmas was the time he had his father all to himself. Wood's richly colored oil paintings, with elaborately detailed borders, capture the holiday festivities, including black Santas, Barbies, and families together across generations. A portion of the proceeds from this book will go to the United Negro College Fund. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Allison Samuels is a writer for Newsweek
magazine. She lives in Los Angeles, California.