PreS—Preschooler Kevin decorates a tree, gets holiday cards, makes and wraps a present for his cousin Sally, and celebrates Christmas with a family feast. Sturdy pages and childlike illustrations in primary colors with thick dark outlines make this a cheerful, if not particularly exciting, holiday choice.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
The latest entry in a Dutch series about a toddler named Kevin follows the little one as he gets ready for Christmas with his family. Kevin, who appears to be about 2 years old, narrates his family's Advent preparations. He decorates a tiny tree and places a Nativity set under it, with an explanation of the religious significance of the holiday. Kevin continues with his holiday activities by mailing his holiday greeting cards and creating a bead necklace as a gift for his cousin. He helps his parents with shopping and preparing a "great big Christmas feast" with extended family. The book's heavy, coated pages with rounded edges and Kevin's young age imply a toddler age range for the audience, but text is too long for most children in this age group. The toddler does not speak with the voice of a child, but as an adult in many of the descriptions, with a resulting preachy tone. The bold illustrations, however, are just right for babies and toddlers, with round-faced, chubby children and simple shapes with heavy outlines. This could be enjoyed just for the cheerful illustrations, but most little ones won't be interested in the mundane story. (Picture book. 1-4)
Liesbet Slegersis a graphic designer, a children's book illustrator, and the author of "The Child in the Manger, Clothes, Guess Who Eats What, Guess Who Lives Where, "and "It's My Birthday, "as well as the Kevin and Katie series.