Grace at Christmas

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Grace loves everything about Christmas, especially acting out all the parts in the Nativity. But when strangers come to stay with Grace and her family, she wants to say "no room at the inn." Will Grace learn to give up the spotlight and make these new friends feel welcome? Just in time for the twentieth anniversary of Amazing Grace, the newest addition to the acclaimed series will capture the hearts of established fans and new readers alike.

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Overview

Grace loves everything about Christmas, especially acting out all the parts in the Nativity. But when strangers come to stay with Grace and her family, she wants to say "no room at the inn." Will Grace learn to give up the spotlight and make these new friends feel welcome? Just in time for the twentieth anniversary of Amazing Grace, the newest addition to the acclaimed series will capture the hearts of established fans and new readers alike.

Mary Hoffman's books featuring this spirited character have earned considerable critical acclaim. Amazing Grace was an ALA Notable book and a Booklist Editors' Choice, and Princess Grace was a Bank Street Best Books of the Year selection.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starring in her fourth picture book, Grace learns that her Nana has invited distant family friends to spend Christmas with them. Grace isn’t sure about having strangers there, but she and shy Savannah discover that they have something in common: Grace misses her father, who lives in Africa, as much as Savannah misses being in Trinidad for Christmas. Hoffman’s empathetic storytelling and Van Wright and Hu’s naturalistic illustrations make the most of Grace’s abundant humor and personality. It’s a contemporary holiday story with no shortage of heart. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)
The Tampa Tribune
“It’s a heartwarming tale and the watercolor illustrations showcase Grace’s charisma.”
Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
Grace, that amazing, boundless princess is back in her fourth adventure. True to form, at Christmas time Grace loves acting out the Christmas story. Sometimes her mother and grandmother play along and take some of the roles but just as often Grace plays all the parts herself. One morning her mom announces that there will be guests staying with the family for Christmas. Grace feels disgruntled, especially when she learns that she will have to give up her room so Anita and her daughter Savannah can have a place to stay. Savannah is the same age as Grace but she does not seem to want to be friends. Grace does not get much sympathy when she calls her Papa in Gambia. He tells her that it is a kindness to share your home with strangers at Christmas. When she discovers that Savannah misses her father too, Grace starts thinking that maybe she has been selfish. When Savannah's Aunt Rosalie, a professional ballerina, arrives, Grace decides that this is the best Christmas ever. This is a lovely little story that includes a nice understated lesson about kindness and sharing. Sure to be a hit with those familiar with Grace and to win her new fans as well. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—The irrepressible heroine of Amazing Grace (1991), Boundless Grace (1995), and Princess Grace (2008, all Dial) loves acting out the Nativity story. Often she plays all the parts herself, but sometimes Ma and Nana help out. This year, however, they are going to have visitors for the holidays. Grace isn't happy about giving up her room, and Savannah, who is Grace's age, doesn't seem friendly. But the girls find common ground—they both miss their fathers and are crazy about Savannah's Aunt Rosalie, a ballet dancer who shows up to share the festivities. Now there are plenty of actors for the Christmas play, a proper ballerina dancing a solo, and the best celebration ever. All of the action and drama is effectively conveyed in the expressive watercolor artwork. Grace's fans will enjoy this holiday-themed outing and wish they could share Christmas with her, too.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

Many faith traditions and cultures advocate welcoming the stranger to the table of fellowship, and Grace learns this lesson firsthand when her family hosts a mother-daughter pair for Christmas.

Grace is a vibrant, naturally appealing girl who has previously starred in several picture books and a chapter book about different aspects of her life with Ma, Nana and her cat, Paw-Paw (Princess Grace, 2008, etc.). She loves acting and dress-up, and in this tale she acts out the Nativity story, pressing her family members into service in multiple roles. Grace is resentful when Anita and her daughter Savannah are invited to stay for Christmas, but the two girls quickly become friends through shared creative play and their mutual experience of being separated from their fathers at Christmas. Savannah's aunt, a professional ballet dancer, joins the group for Christmas dinner and participates in another re-enactment of the Nativity story, followed by an impromptu ballet performance. Softly shaded watercolor illustrations capture the emotions and facial expressions of the characters and provide intriguing patterns and textures in clothing details and decorations. In a few places, the illustrations do not match specific descriptions in the text, which sharp-eyed young readers are sure to notice.

Grace learns some subtle lessons about sharing and being open to unexpected gifts, adding an additional layer of meaning to her name.(Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803735774
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/13/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Hoffman has written more than 70 books for children, and her powers of observation bring vitality and humour to all her stories and retellings.

Her previous titles for Dorling Kindersley include Henry's Baby and A First Bible Story Book. Her best-known picture books are Amazing Grace, Three Wise Women, and An Angel Just Like Me. Mary lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and they have three daughters. The girls were brought up on myths and legends, of which Mary and her husband have an extensive collection.

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