Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Walk This World at Christmastime

Walk This World at Christmastime

Debbie Powell
Novelty Nonfiction book
For ages 5 to 8
Candlewick Press, 2016   ISBN: 978-0763689216

Many of us are familiar with the Christmas traditions enjoyed in our country, or perhaps in our region, but how do people in other countries celebrate the holiday season? In this wonderful book we are taken “to all four corners of the globe” so that we can “Peek through windows, open doors / watch as Christmastime unfolds.”

Our trip begins in Canada and the United States and we quickly discover that there are lots of “doors” in this book to open. In fact there are seven flaps to explore and when we open them we are presented with a picture and an interesting fact about the object we are being shown. For example, behind a flap showing the front of a festively decorated house we find a picture of a table laid for a festive meal, a roasted turkey taking pride of place in the center. The text tells us that in Canada roast turkey is what people have for Christmas dinner.

Our next stop presents us with a very different scene. A section of rhyming text gives us clues to help us guess where we are and asks us, “Where am I?” Red flowers decorate the streets, fireworks blaze in the sky, and we see some children hitting a hanging Pinata with sticks. It turns out that we are in Mexico, Bolivia and Brazil. Five lift-the-flap windows give us interesting information about traditions that are popular in these countries.

The scene we see next is full of brightly dressed people, who are shown shopping, traveling in full buses, dancing, playing soccer, and celebrating. When we see elephants in the scene we can guess that we are Africa, and that is indeed where we are. Though some of the customs here are different from those enjoyed in the west, people in Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia do get dressed up, cook special feasts, and go to church,

Young children are going to thoroughly enjoy exploring this unique book. As they look at the art, open the flaps, and read the rhyming text they may even be inspired to bring some of the traditions they encounter into their homes. Some of the windows in the book are numbered and can serve as advent calendar during the days leading up to Christmas.