A CHRISTMAS TOO BIG
By: Colleen Madden
Published: November 2, 2021
Publisher: Two Lions
Kerry’s family is a little too hyped about Christmas. There is Christmas music on all the time, the kitchen is full of cookies, and they insist on watching every single Christmas movie. When they bring home a tree too big for the house, Kerry decides she has had enough.
While she is outside, Kerry spots their neighbor, Mrs. Flores. While helping Mrs. Flores with her groceries, Kerry notices her nice house and her simple decorations. Kerry enjoys the quiet conversation with Mrs. Flores while also learning something special about her culture.
This bilingual story shares the importance of looking out for our neighbors, the joy of celebrating the holidays, and how, maybe, sometimes a little goes a long way. Mrs. Flores shares the Spanish language with Kerry as well as a special craft to help decorate for the holidays, Flores de Navidad. The end of the book includes instructions on how to make your very own tissue paper flowers.
Once Kerry and Mrs. Flores are together, the story is told in both English and Spanish. When Mrs. Flores comes to Kerry’s house for Christmas dinner, the page is labeled with all kinds of Spanish words to go with the items on the page like gato, leche, ensalada, and estrella. The illustrations are fun and festive with various expressions on Kerry and her family members to show their true feelings about Christmas.
Kerry will remind kids that bigger isn’t necessarily better and no matter whether you have a simple or big Christmas, it’s important to share it with those we care about.
Colleen Madden grew up in a crazy Christmas house and, like Kerry, she found a break by spending time with her neighbor who was from another country. She has illustrated many children’s books, including the bestselling What If Everybody? series, written by Ellen Javernick, and the picture-book adaptation of All I Want for Christmas Is You, by Mariah Carey. She recently published Monkey Walk, her debut as both author and illustrator, and is currently working on her first graphic novel. She lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.