By Alison Jay
For those of you who have not discovered Alison Jay, you’re in for a very sweet treat. In fact, it could be a double treat if you’ve read her version of The Nutcracker that I reviewed last Christmas, and this year’s winner called Christmastime is just as wonderful. In case you haven’t guessed, I’m a big fan. These are the types of picture books that are in a class by themselves, truly works of wonder and art; classics of their time to be passed down and enjoyed from generation to generation. They are that good.
In Christmastime, Ms. Jay’s trademark honey crackled varnish page technique is very much in evidence giving each cozy scene in her book a warm golden glow as if lit from within.
The book is a treat and a treasure hunt as two children are off on a Christmas adventure with Santa, supper with the Claus’s at the North Pole, a chance to see those mischievous elves hard at work, plus a return trip in time to celebrate Christmas morning with mom and dad.
Interspersed with the pages of the story, Ms. Jay has planted objects, in a sort of treasure hunt, that provide clues to famous Christmas carols; 17 in all to be exact. The whole family can join in the fun of guessing the carols and Christmas favorites that are standards such as Away in a Manger, Good King Wenceslas, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and 12 more. Hey, with everyone joining in on the fun, you’re sure to be able to guess all 17! Okay, I know I’m cheating here just a bit, but in looking for the song, Silver Bells, keep in mind the bells may just be edible! Have fun!
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