First sentence: Walk this world at Christmastime. Let's take a stroll around the world, to all four corners of the globe. Peek through windows, open doors, watch as Christmastime unfolds.
Premise/plot: Readers "visit" many different countries at Christmastime. Each two-page spread takes readers to a new destination. The stops include Canada and the United States; Mexico, Bolivia, and Brazil; Nigeria, South Africa, and Ethiopia; Spain, France, Italy, and Greece; Holland, Austria, and Germany; U.K., Sweden, Norway, and Finland; Poland, Ukraine, and Russia; Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, and India; China, Japan, and the Philippines; Australia, New Zealand, and Samoa. Each two-page spread features a riddle, of sorts, asking readers to guess where they are. Each two spread also features a LOT of flaps to open. Behind each flap is a fact.
Some of the things we learn on this journey:
- During Las Posadas, children dress as Mary and Joseph and go from house to house asking to be let in.
- Leave out your shoes to get presents from the Three Wise Men.
- Calabar Carnival, in Nigeria, is Africa's biggest street party. Get ready for parades, masquerades, and dancing.
- An old Greek custom, recently revived, is to decorate real and model ships with lights at Christmastime.
- In Holland, leave out your clogs for Saint Nicholas. Don't forget a carrot for his horse!
- A Nutcracker doll is a traditional German gift.
- The first Christmas card was sent in the U.K. in 1843.
- In Russia, Father Frost brings children presents, accompanied by the Snow Maiden.
- In Iraq, Christian families light a bonfire and recite passages from the Bible.
- In India, banana trees are decorated for Christmas.
- The Chinese give gifts of apples on Christmas Eve.
- In Samoa, people feast on December 24, then go to church, dressed in white, on Christmas Day.
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews