The Holiday Book of the Year

great-joy.jpgI know. You’re still trying to get the chocolate out of your teeth from Halloween and you’re weeks away from digging out the family recipe for Thanksgiving stuffing. I am with those who think the holidays are best enjoyed in their due time. But I just have to say that I have seen what undoubtedly will be the hottest holiday book of the year and I wanted to tell you before everyone else did.

In Great Joy, Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo pairs with acclaimed artist Bagram Ibatoulline in a timeless story of compassion and joy. It is just before Christmas when an organ grinder and monkey appear on the street corner outside Frances’ apartment. Frances can see them from her window and, sometimes, when it’s quiet, she can hear their music.

In fact, Frances can’t stop thinking about them, especially after she sees the man and his monkey sleeping outside on the cold street at midnight. When the day of the Christmas pageant arrives, and it’s Frances’s turn to speak, everyone waits silently. But all Frances can think about is the organ grinder’s sad eyes — until, just in time, she finds the perfect words to share.

I’m telling you, you have to see “Great Joy” in person to understand how beautiful it is. Once you take a look, your only problem will be deciding how many copies to buy.

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