Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cole Family Christmas by Jennifer Liu Bryan

This amazing year, the nine children in the Cole family have been allowed to sit down with the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalogue (the wish book) to choose the gift they would most like to receive for Christmas. This is a rare event, for the Coles are not wealthy. Indeed, Cole Family Christmas is the true, tender, and wholly unforgettable tale of a coal miner's family. The story takes place in the small company town of Benham, Kentucky, in a time (1920) and place when coal was king and families made their precarious living mining the dirty and sometimes deadly coal.

When one of Mama's few possessions, a treasured purple glass bowl with fluted edges, is accidentally broken by exuberant children rushing in from the outdoors, and an unlikely blizzard prevents Papa from coming home after working extra hours at the coal mine on Christmas Eve, the stage is set for a Christmas morning in which gifts are given and received that no one could have predicted. This title is suitable for ages 9 to 12 years.


My Review:
Looking at the cover of this book made me smile. It promises a treat inside, and it delivers! A true story, that tells about a poor/rich family experiencing the real meaning of Christmas. Further enhanced with beautifully detailed illustrations by Jenniffer Julich, the story holds the reader's attention page after page. Why, there are even "six vintage Christmas-themed fabrics featured on the borders" that reflect Mama Cole's quilts!

You'll find good use of vocabulary, table manners, and sharing skills.

The Cole family is a special one because of their love and their traditions of Christmas. Each member is valued, and in nine chapters a story is told that can become a part of your family tradition. I loved the gifts for Mama Cole. A terrific chapter book!

4 comments:

bermudaonion said...

That looks like just the right book to put me in the Christmas spirit!

Dawn said...

The Sears Wish Book was still around when I was a kid - boy, did I love looking thru that!

'tis the season :) We get 3-4 catalogs a day, and the kids are making "wish list collages" 2 months before Christmas already.

Dawn said...

The Sears Wish Book was still around when I was a kid - boy, did I love looking thru that!

'tis the season :) We get 3-4 catalogs a day, and the kids are making "wish list collages" 2 months before Christmas already.

Dawn said...

The Sears Wish Book was still around when I was a kid - boy, did I love looking thru that!

'tis the season :) We get 3-4 catalogs a day, and the kids are making "wish list collages" 2 months before Christmas already.