By: Dandi Daley Mackall
Illustrated by: Michele Noiset
Publication Date: September 2010
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: December 7, 2010
“Seventeen Christmases all in a row! Get packing! Get cracking! Get ready to go!” It’s a few weeks before Christmas but there’s so much to do! It’s time to visit family and friends. But wait! They live in 17 different States so there’s going to be a heck of a lot of traveling. Let’s get busy, get on the road, and get ready to visit all those who are dear to us, spread out all over the United States. We can see how each celebrates the birth of Christ.
17 Christmases is the charming tale of one family’s rather hectic holiday schedule as they traverse the country visiting loved ones. First they go to California, then to North Carolina, followed by Colorado and Texas. And that’s just the beginning of their travels. Each family, in each State, celebrates in a different way and it’s nice to see the various activities and festivities.
Told in rhyme, the story is happy and joyous:
“In Ohio my mother hugs Grandpappy Pete,
Who calls in the neighbors who live on his street.
Then other folks join us. We sing door to door,
A choir of one hundred or possibly more.
I never got chills just from singing before.”
This story is a nice alternative to the tales of Santa Claus and presents galore. The kids in the book are happy to participate in a Nativity play, making snow angles, singing carols, and listening to tales of “Christmases past.” Love and the anticipation of Christ’s birth are the prevailing themes in this book.
Quill says: A fun look at all the ways families and friends can celebrate Christmas together.