The Biggest Little Boy: A Christmas Story

by Poppy Harlow (Author) Ramona Kaulitzki (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

CNN news anchor Poppy Harlow has crafted a Christmas classic with lots of heart. Perfect for holiday gift giving!

Luca loves BIG things. BIG trucks. BIG buildings. BIG bowls of pasta. But what he wants most is the biggest Christmas tree of all. With Christmas approaching, Luca goes in search of a special tree. But he soon finds out that what matters most is having a BIG heart.

CNN news anchor Poppy Harlow has crafted a timeless Christmas story brimming with good cheer and Ramona Kaulitzki brings the festive holiday season to life. The Biggest Little Boy reassures all young readers that they are special, just the way they are.

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Kirkus Reviews

"Delightful and resonant."

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3--Luca, a little boy with brown skin, curly hair. and red glasses, lives in New York City and thinks bigger is always better. He likes everything big--trucks, toys, buildings, and trees. He loves to climb the tallest tree in the park. So when it's Christmas time, Luca wants the largest tree to call his own, but none seem quite tall enough. When he stumbles over a tree just his size, Luca has a sudden change of heart and decides that special comes in every size. In this quick-paced picture book with sparse text, the resolution feels a bit forced. The illustrations provide a charming look at Christmas in New York City. VERDICT Journalist Harlow's debut picture book seeks to create a cheery story of self-acceptance, but it falls flat. Most libraries will find that this book does not enhance their collections.--Monisha Blair, Glasgow M.S., Alexandria, VA

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

A little boy who loves big things discovers that appreciating the small is the key to holiday joy in this simple yet comforting picture book debut by CNN news anchor Harlow. For Luca, a light brown-skinned child with round red glasses, bigger is always better: trucks, toys, bowls of pasta, and especially trees. Luca's focus on finding the enormous Christmas tree of his dreams drives the family's search, as they take in seasonal sights while snow gently flurries and more lights begin to twinkle in Kaulitzki's warm, atmospheric spreads of their busy city neighborhood. Luca's parents--his mother appears to be Black, and his father appears white--wisely counsel, "We'll know our tree when we see it." As Luca finally discovers the unexpectedly perfect pine just days before the holiday, small readers will find reassurance in the adage that size doesn't matter. Ages 3-7. (Nov.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"An engaging story that small children will relate to. Delightful and resonant." -Kirkus reviews

"A little boy who loves big things discovers that appreciating the small is the key to holiday joy . . . small readers will find reassurance in the adage that size doesn't matter." -Publishers Weekly

Poppy Harlow
Poppy Harlow is a twice-Emmy-nominated journalist who co-anchors the morning edition of CNN Newsroom and hosts the successful podcast Bossfiles with Poppy Harlow. Originally from Minnesota, she now lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband Sinisa and their children Sienna and Luca. Please visit her online @poppyharlowcnn.

Ramona Kaulitzki's biggest passions have always been drawing and storytelling. She lives outside of Berlin where she works as a freelance illustrator. Please visit her online @ramonakaulitzki.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
November 20, 2021

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