A Grandmother for Christmas by Chantal Dezainde, is a very different Christmas story.
It’s almost Christmas, the ground is covered with snow and seven-year old Jeremy (the main character) is building a snow man with his friend Lucy. When he suggests they go inside for a warm cup of hot chocolate, Lucy declines. Her grandmother is coming by airplane from far, far away to spend the holiday with her family, and she must go home to prepare for her visit.
After Lucy leaves, Jeremy gets bored and asks his friend Theo to come and play. But Theo also has a grandmother, and like every year, she too is coming on a plane from far away to spend Christmas. So Theo stays home and prepares for her visit.
Poor Jeremy! He’s the only one who doesn’t have a grandmother, and this makes him sad. In his mind, he imagines all the little grandmothers at the airport with bags of presents, and he wishes he had a grandmother coming to visit him from far, far away.
As he imagines, he has an idea. He makes lots of posters with a picture of a grandmother on each one, then hangs them on telephone poles in his neighborhood. That’s right, he’s advertising for a grandmother! He hangs the pictures, wishes on a star and waits to hear from his grandmother.
But no one answers the ad, and the next day Jeremy consults with Theo to figure out where grandmother’s come from. Neither boy has an answer, until…they suddenly remember Santa Claus and the North Pole. Jeremy writes to Santa and waits for a response.
On Christmas Eve, the doorbell rings, but instead of the grandmother he asked for, it’s only his Aunt, loaded with gifts. Well, this is not the answer he expected, and Jeremy is very disappointed. He goes for a walk and sits on a park bench, where soon his wish for a grandmother finally comes true. How? Ha, you’ll have to read the book to see the answer.
A Grandmother for Christmas is filled with playful, cartoon- like illustrations, and I think the story is cute, but I had a bit of a problem with its believability. Is it possible that a seven-year old doesn’t know where grandmothers come from, even if he doesn’t have one? But on a more positive note, the book does targets very young children ages 3 and up, so perhaps it would be believable for them.
As for the plot, the weakest part was when the Aunt came on Christmas Eve loaded with gifts and was totally ignored. I feel that if she was going to be included in the book, more should have been said about her visit. The strongest part of the plot was Jeremy’s wish for a grandmother. Most children love having a grandmother, so I think children will easily identify with this wish.
Would I buy this book? Definitely! The price is right, the cartoon-like characters are cute, and the subject leaves readers feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
I give this book 2.5 to 3 stars.
Until the next review!