Joy to the World!: Christmas Around the Globe

by Kate Depalma (Author) Sophie Fatus (Illustrator)

Joy to the World!: Christmas Around the Globe
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Explore Christmas traditions from 13 different countries!

Rhyming text and detailed illustrations make the book accessible to younger readers, while educational endnotes about the 13 celebrations add interest for older children. Gold ink and festive illustrations capture the joy of the season and make this book a beautiful gift in itself. Engaging and informative for anyone who wants to learn about the holiday.

Features Christmas traditions from: *Ethiopia *Colombia *Australia *Italy *Serbia *Mexico *India *Iceland *Egypt *Argentina *Philippines *Lebanon *Canada

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2--A sweet journey around the globe to 13 countries and cultures that features how families celebrate Christmas. The ultra-colorful illustrations fill each page, complete with borders that represent traditional fabrics, tile work, or flora from each country. Readers are pulled into the homes of families celebrating their unique holiday traditions. The rhyming text describes family activities, meal preparations, and special moments, and the engaging illustrations are just the right match. When sharing with the youngest of listeners, adults could easily play "Eye Spy" at each reading, because there are so many details. The book shows multigenerational families enjoying each other's company, indoors and out, as well as a variety of inclusive family structures. Religious practices and beliefs are acknowledged for some countries, but are not the main focus. Back matter includes more information about each country. VERDICT While this book is not unique in presenting holidays around the world, it is certainly charming and attractive. A lovely addition for larger collections, especially where families eat books like these up seasonally.--Linda Annable, Newport P.L. Newport, OR

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publisher's Weekly

Highlighting 13 specifically Christian Christmas-oriented celebrations, DePalma touches briefly on holiday traditions in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iceland, India, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, the Philippines, and Serbia. Rhyming couplets-two per page-highlight moments of sharing and togetherness: about Iceland’s Jólabókaflóð, for example, "On Christmas Eve night, despite the cold weather,/ We all exchange books and then read them together." Though the uncertain prevalence of each country’s respective traditions makes the selections feel randomized, naïf-style mixed media art by Fatus warmly portrays beaming, beatific individuals of various abilities, ages, and skin tones gathering in groups. Many non-English words are defined in the text; back matter further contextualizes each country’s Christmas tradition. Ages 4-10. 

Copyright 2021 Publisher’s Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Kate Depalma
Kate DePalma was born and raised outside Nashville, TN, USA. As Senior Editor at Barefoot Books, she has helped develop dozens of picture books, as well as authoring her own, including those published under her pseudonym, Sunny Scribens. She holds an M.A. in Classics from the University of Texas and is also a published poet and scholar. Kate lives with her husband and daughter in Pennsylvania, USA.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
November 20, 2021

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