Posted by shelburns on 30th December 2008
I should have reviewed this one before the holidays, but time just got away from me. Sorry about that, but here you go, while Christmas is still on your mind.
Thank you to Lee & Low Books for sending this to me.
Title: Christmas Makes Me Think
Author: Tony Medina
Illustrator: Chandra Cox
Review Copy Provided by: Lee & Low Books
Summary of Book: A young boy, narrator, is excited about Christmas, his favorite time of year. He is looking forward to more fun, watching cartoons at night, no school, baking a cake with his grandmother, a beautiful tree, and lots of presents. But, he starts to wonder about things. What happens to the trees that don’t make it to Christmas? What about all the people that don’t have a home, food to eat and presents at Christmas? All this thinking sets the boy into action about giving his old toys to kids that don’t have any and hats, gloves, and scarves to homeless people. He learns that Christmas is not about getting, but about giving. It is best said with this quote, “Christmas makes me think about others and not just me!”
My Review: This is a sweet story. It is told from the point of view of a young boy, which I love because boys will be able to relate to the character. It is also an African American themed book, which is why I enjoy Lee & Low’s books because of the multicultural diversity that they are not afraid to put into books. Kids need to have books with characters who look like them, and Lee & Low does that. If I had had this book prior to the holidays, I would have shared it with my students because of the message. Christmas isn’t just about the gifts you get, but what you can give to others. I think children need to hear that as many of them are so “me” centered when it comes to the holidays. This book would make a great springboard to writing in the classroom. Many times throughout the book, these words are used: “Christmas makes me think…” After reading the story, I would give students those four words and see what they could come up with. They could pattern it after the book, or just finish the sentence. It would make a great class book to make during the holidays when students are excited and not real into working. This would be fun for them I think. I recommend this for young children, teachers, and parents. It is a quick read for a read aloud, easy for children to read alone, and a story with a great message for kids and adults alike.
Free Teacher’s Guide available at leeandlow.com
Other info about the book:
- paperback $8.95
- hardback $16.95
- Interest Level
- Grades K – 4
- Reading Level
- Grades 1 – 2
- African/African American Interest, Environment/Nature, Family Traditions, Holidays & Celebrations, Home, Religion/Spiritual, Sharing & Giving
- Accelerated Reader
- Level: 2.8