Thursday, July 4, 2013
Author: Eve Bunting
Illustrator: David Diaz
Publisher: Harcourt Brace
Publication Year: 1997
Location: Personal collection
Awards: Kirkus & School Library Journal starred reviews, Golden Kite Honor
Summary: Another book from the Caldecott-winning team that created Smoky Night. Simon and his mom live in a house made of cardboard boxes, but on Christmas Eve they have a tiny tree made from a throw-away branch from a tree lot. On the wall is an angel named December that they tore from a calendar. A woman with a rose on her hat comes to their house and they let her stay for the night. She gives Simon the rose and he gives her his Christmas cookie (which he's gotten by turning in 32 soda cans to be recycled). When they wake up on Christmas morning, December the angel has come to life and is singing in the doorway. After that things start to change for the little family- Mom has job and they have a small apartment. On the wall hangs December with a faded rose in her hair. Diaz's illustrations are gorgeous and December the angel glows with a palette of gold and rose.
Classroom Ideas: The themes of homelessness and generosity in this book are timeless, but the story could also be shared especially during the Christmas season.