Monday, November 16, 2009

Have You Seen Christmas?

In Have You Seen Christmas?, written by Vickie Howie, a homeless man named Luke loses his dog. When his two young friends, Benny and Mia, go in search of the pooch, they ask several grown-ups, “Have you seen Christmas?” Since it is December, and the grown-ups think they are talking about the holiday, they send the children off in various directions to search for “Christmas.”

First, they go to a department store. It is decorated for Christmas and the shelves are filled with things to buy. Of course, Christmas the dog isn’t there. Then, they go to City Square. It, too, is decorated for the holidays, with a huge tree covered with lights. Christmas music blares from a loudspeaker. Sure enough, Christmas isn’t there, either.

Then, their friend Jamie suggests they follow him. He leads them to the fellowship hall under the church. There they find men and women of all ages, dressed in old coats and tattered clothing, sitting at a long table, eating plates of food. They find Christmas, the dog, under the table with a sausage in his mouth.

After the meal, their friend Jamie invites everyone to sit in front of a Nativity set, where he tells them the story of the first Christmas.

The illustrations by Caroline Pedlar are bright and colorful, full of detail and expression.

What I Like: I like the idea of children “looking for Christmas.” Of course, the adults think they’re talking about the holiday, so they send the children off in search of bright lights and glitzy decorations. The children are just looking for a dog. But, in the process, they not only find the dog, they learn the meaning of Christmas, which is to celebrate the birth of Christ while helping those in need.

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Very good.

Age Appeal:

Publisher Info: Abingdon Press, 2006; ISBN: 0687496780; Hardcover: $18.00

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