A CHRISTMAS TOO BIG, by Colleen Madden, Two Lions; Bilingual edition, Nov. 2, 2021, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 4-8)
A girl learns how traditions can come in all different sizes in A Christmas Too Big, by Colleen Madden
Kerry’s family goes completely berserk with Christmas every year. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, her home becomes a whirlwind of lights, music, and elves, elves, elves!
Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming.
This year, Kerry is desperate for some peace and quiet. Heading outdoors, she realizes a lot of her neighbors are having a Christmas too big. But not Mrs. Flores. She’s having a much quieter Christmas, complete with decorations and music from the country where she used to live. It sparks an idea: maybe there’s a way for Kerry to create her own Christmas traditions.
But will anyone in her crazy Christmas house understand? Join Kerry as she finds her voice in this delightful holiday tale. —Synopsis provided by Two Lions
A Christmas Too Big feels a bit overwhelming at first. As author/illustrator Colleen Madden follows the family merrymaking, you, as the reader, get a very true sense of how Kerry feels.
Then, everything changes. With one turn of the page, you enter a quiet, calm place.
You can take a breath.
With one simple transition, Madden conveys a host of emotions. It’s a fantastic juxtaposition. As Kerry returns home, she realizes that by creating her own tradition, she can take back some of Christmas for herself.
As if the emotional intelligence aspects weren’t enough, A Christmas Too Big is also bilingual. Mrs. Flores speaks Spanish, and that is incorporated with her interactions with Kerry. The endpapers include illustrations of items in both English and Spanish. And instructions on how to make flores de Navidad are also included.
A Christmas Too Big is a book with a lot of heart. It’s bright. It’s colorful. And it gets to the heart of Christmas.
About the author: Colleen Madden grew up in a crazy Christmas house and, like Kerry, she found a break by spending time with her neighbor who was from another country. She has illustrated many children’s books, including the bestselling What If Everybody? series, written by Ellen Javernick, and the picture-book adaptation of All I Want for Christmas Is You, by Mariah Carey. She recently published Monkey Walk, her debut as both author and illustrator, and is currently working on her first graphic novel. She lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.