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An Island Christmas by Lynn Joseph
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An Island Christmas

by Lynn Joseph

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A young Trinidadian girl named Rosie narrates this story of Christmas as it is celebrated on her island home, paying tribute to many of the holiday traditions observed there, while also spinning a tale of family warmth and love. Opening one sunny day as she is dispatched to gather sorrel, to make the special Christmas sorrel drink, the book touches upon the many other foods prepared at this time of year - blackcurrant cake, soursop ice cream - as well as the seasonal activities - decorating the painted guava branch that serves as Christmas tree, listening to the wonderful songs sung by the wandering parang bands - and concludes with the celebrations on the big day itself, including the extended family's church attendance.

A lovely look at Christmas traditions in a part of the world that doesn't get as much attention, holiday-book wise, as more northern climates, An Island Christmas is both educational and fun! The reader gets a strong sense of Rosie's tight-knit family life - undoubtedly based on the childhood of author Lynn Joseph, herself born in Trinidad - while also learning a little bit about customs that might (in the case of most American children) be unfamiliar. The narration is done in what I assume is Trinidadian English - "De first day of Christmas holidays and de sun shining bright bright" - which might take a little getting used to for some younger children, but in the end the text works very well, and is nicely complemented by artwork from Catherine Stock, whose other Caribbean-themed picture-books include Tap-Tap and Painted Dreams (both set in Haiti). All in all, a sweet little Christmas book, one from a tradition that doesn't get as much attention as it perhaps deserves. Recommended to young readers looking for Christmas stories with a Caribbean theme, or from non-northern climes in general. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 19, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0395813107, Paperback)

Rosie's preparations for Christmas on the island of Trinidad include picking red petals for the sorrel drink, and singing along with the parang band.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:55 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Rosie's preparations for Christmas on the island of Trinidad include picking red petals for the sorrel drink, mixing up the black currant cake, and singing along with the parang band.

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