"Holiday High Notes"

Thank you Horn Book for including CHRISTMAS IS HERE on your annual list of recommended holiday books! Here's the very nice review from their Nov/Dec magazine issue:

Christmas Is Here

words from the King James Bible; illus. by Lauren Castillo
10/10 978-1-4424-0822-7 $12.99

Over three wordless spreads, a young child walks with his family through their neighborhood to take in a live Nativity scene. The third spread brings us up close to view the boy looking thoughtfully into the manger at a sleeping Christ child. As the biblical story begins (“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field”), readers are transported to the setting of the first Christmas. The seemingly incongruous pairing — formal Bible verses and Castillo’s child-friendly illustrations — works beautifully, with subdued colors and unfussy compositions making the archaic text more accessible. As the Nativity story comes to an end, the pictures gently carry readers to the present, but the spirit of that long-ago miracle remains in the air, evoking the real meaning of Christmas.