Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Christmas in the Country

Christmas in the Country

Cynthia Rylant
Illustrator:   Diane Goode 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
Scholastic, 2002   ISBN: 978-0439073349

A little girl lives in the country with her grandparents and though she enjoys the other highlights of the year, Christmas is always a special time. Of course part of the fun is having a beautiful mantle of snow outdoors which "slows everything down" and makes the world a quieter place. Then there are all the rituals which the girl and her grandparents share every Christmas and which are precious to all three of them. There is the too-big or too-fat Christmas tree which grandpa cuts down and brings into the house, and there are the old ornaments, many of which the little girl made herself. There are church services that they go to on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning and, of course, the excitement of getting up on Christmas morning to see what has been put under the Christmas tree.

All of us have our own favorite things during the Christmas season, things that we look forward to doing. Children will enjoy sharing this country Christmas and seeing what the little girl in the story does. The pleasures that she has are simple ones: being with family, singing in the choir, looking forward to Christmas morning. The little girl’s world is one seemingly untouched by the frantic frenzy that often accompanies Christmas in this day and age. Hers is a quieter, simpler, and most restful celebration.

This book is a gift for all readers of all ages with its soothing narrative and charming ink and watercolor illustrations.