Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Christmas in the Time of Billy Lee

Christmas in the Time of Billy Lee

Jerdine Nolan
Illustrator:   Barry Moser 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Hyperion , 2010   ISBN: 978-0786818716

Ellie has friend called Billie Lee and she is the only person who can see him. Her parents believe that Billie Lee is “just my imagination,” but to Ellie, Billie Lee is as real as the sun and moon. One cold night Ellie wishes on the brightest star in the sky; she wishes that her parents will understand that Billie Lee is real.

Soon after she makes this first wish, Ellie finds out that it has not snowed in Septon’s Creek for fifty years. Her grandmother remembers the snowfall that took place all those years ago very fondly. She truly believes that snow contains a mystery, and that it brings magic with it. There is so little happiness and magic in life these days, that Ellie decides to wish for “snow and joy.”

Desperate to see her parents looking happy again, Ellie makes a third wish two days before Christmas. As Billie Lee says, “there is magic in believing in something good with all your heart.” Ellie dares to hope that faith in her wishes will bring some happiness back into the lives of the people she cares about.

This remarkable and memorable picture book perfectly captures the magic that comes at Christmastime, if we open our hearts to the possibility. Readers will find it impossible not to echo Ellie’s wishes on her behalf and to hope that her three precious wishes really do come true.

With Barry Moser’s beautiful illustrations throughout to compliment the holiday tale, this is a picture book that families will enjoy reading for years to come.