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Together at Christmas
     

Together at Christmas

by Eileen Spinelli, Bin Lee (Illustrator)
 

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It's Christmas Eve, and a family of ten mice shivers in the snow. One by one, each mouse finds a place to stay warm, only to discover that they'd rather huddle together on this holiday night. With gently rhyming text and charming illustrations, this picture book is a wonderful readaloud at Christmastime.

Overview


It's Christmas Eve, and a family of ten mice shivers in the snow. One by one, each mouse finds a place to stay warm, only to discover that they'd rather huddle together on this holiday night. With gently rhyming text and charming illustrations, this picture book is a wonderful readaloud at Christmastime.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lee’s luminous paintings set the scene for Spinelli’s (The Perfect Christmas) graceful poem about 10 mice trying to stave off the cold on Christmas Eve. Hushed rhymed verse counts down as, one by one, the mice find warmth in such refuges as an abandoned nest, a milkweed pod, and an acorn shell. But “somehow it doesn’t feel quite right/ to be without one’s friends this night,” a dilemma the mice solve by “Singing carols in the snow./ Giggling under mistletoe,” and finding a spot big enough for all of them. The glow of moonlight is almost tangible, as it illuminates the snowy landscape dramatically. A cozy holiday book for icy nights. Ages 4–7. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Jennifer Greene
Does it feel right to be alone on Christmas Eve? Spinelli's holiday picture book conveys the importance of being with friends and family for Christmas. In the book, ten little mice are huddled in the snowy cold on Christmas Eve. One by one the mice leave the group to find their own warm and cozy places. They may be safe and snug, but reconvene in their loneliness to sing carols and giggle under mistletoe until one mouse is able to find a perfect hollow log with berries and room for everyone. Although the majority of the book is spent describing the various warm locations that each individual mouse is able to find, the ending message is heartfelt. The tender illustrations paired with the sequential nature of the plot and the calming rhythm and rhyme of the text make this book perfect for reading aloud during the holidays. Recommended for libraries and homes with children ages five to seven.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Spinelli's gentle rhyming countdown starts out with 10 shivering mice huddled together in the snow on Christmas Eve. One by one, they leave the group to find various shelters. After all have found refuge, however, they realize that they do not want to be alone on this particular night, so the little creatures venture into the cold once more to cavort and sing. During these antics, one of the mice spies a hollow log with an ample stash of colorful berries, where they can all nest safely together. Successfully avoiding both religious references and iconic materialism, this soothing read-aloud is brought to life by the soft-hued, pastoral illustrations. Lee's subtle interplay of light and shadow gives depth to the visual drama as the charming mice interact with nature and one another.—Linda Israelson, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Ten tiny mice find themselves outside in the snow on Christmas Eve, seeking shelter and companionship. At first the mice are all huddled together, just trying to survive in the snow. One by one, the mice venture away from the group, with each finding a different type of refuge. Some of the shelters are obvious choices, such as a fallen branch or an open milkweed pod, while others are more fanciful, like a quickly made overcoat from cattail fluff. Before long, the mice miss each other, so they creep back together for singing and dancing in the snow before moving on to a new shelter together within a hollow log. Their group home even has some hidden berries for a midnight mouse-friend feast. The short, rhyming text with just a few lines per page sets a hushed, poetic tone, complementing the late-night setting. Lee's illustrations use a muted nighttime palette of deep blues and browns, but moonlight and starlight shining on the snow illuminate the scenes. His mouse characters are appealing, appearing to move naturally, even while dancing and singing in the snow. The group sheltering together against the elements has echoes of Jan Brett's The Mitten (1989), but this time the protective structure has room for all to take cover in safety. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807580103
Publisher:
Whitman, Albert & Company
Publication date:
09/01/2012
Pages:
24
Sales rank:
1,376,996
Product dimensions:
10.90(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author


Eileen Spinelli is the author of many books for young readers including Peace Week in Miss Fox's Class and Miss Fox's Class Goes Green. Eileen and her husband, author Jerry Spinelli, live in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Bin Lee has been illustrating and animating for several years. He lives in Chongqing, China.

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