25 Stories of Advent--Great Joy-- December 9

"The week before Christmas, a monkey appeared on the corner of Fifth and Vine. 
He was wearing a green vest and a red hat..." 

I have to admit, I think this is my only Christmas book with a monkey in it. But aside from that unusual element, everything else about it has the look, feel and message of a classic Christmas tale (not to be confused with a monkey tail!). 

The time period and illustrations are reminiscent of "A Miracle on 34th Street." The main character is a young girl who wants to invite the organ grinder and monkey in for dinner after she sees that they sleep on the street, even in the snow. When her mother says no, she finds another way to share "Great joy" with them.

This big, beautiful book is one of those that will have a place of honor among the other Christmas books. From the golden end-papers to the soft, expressive, over-sized illustrations on every page, this book will take you back to the days you sat for story time when you were a child. (And I have yet to be able to read the last page to the boys without finding myself all choked up! It's destined to be a Hallmark Christmas movie.) Because of Winn Dixie and Tale of Despereaux are among DiCamillo's other best-sellers. 


Ruth A. D. said...


I loved your review of Great Joy. I was shocked to discover that I don't have any Christmas books with monkeys in them (!), and it made me wonder why.

I got choked up reading the review, so I know what will happen when I actually read the book. I might need to practice a bit before I read it to any actual kids.

Thanks for this post!

RefreshMom said...

You'd love this book Ruth. Seeing the illustrations would probably choke you up too. Check out the "look inside" feature online and see if anyone looks familiar.


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