Little Joe’s Christmas by James F. Conroy
Age Range: 5 and up
Paperback: 44 pages
Publisher: Inkwater Press (October 15, 2012)
Genre: Picture Book
Source: From publisher for review
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
About the Book:
Based on a true story, Little Joe’s Christmas, by James F. Conroy, tells
the heartwarming tale of a little boy’s faith and courage to keep the
Christmas spirit alive. Faced with the cancellation of Christmas
festivities at school, Little Joe asks his friend, the author, for help.
Little Joe brings a special message, delivered through a Christmas
card, from Santa Claus to his classroom. Through his belief in Santa and
desire to save Christmas, Little Joe becomes a hero. Unaware of another
development until the end, Little Joe helps his friend restore some
faith in himself. With a positive message for every child, and a
loveable conclusion for adults, Little Joe’s Christmas will reinvigorate
the Christmas spirit in all of us.
When Joe’s school decides to cancel Christmas in favor of a Winter
Solstice celebration, he decides to do something about it. He obtains
evidence that Santa Claus is real and presents it to his class. The
school eventually decides that having a happy school is more important
than being politically correct, and they bring back Christmas.
I actually liked the story much more than I initially thought I would. I celebrate Christmas, but I know that not everyone does, so that made me hesitant about the story. However, it was done with optimism and joy, and didn’t degrade anyone else’s beliefs. It was simply a beautiful story about a young boy that wanted to keep Christmas.
The one thing that could have been improved was the writing. The story was sweet, but the writing could have used another edit or two, just to cut out some unnecessary wordage.
When I received this book from the publisher, I was immediately drawn to the illustrations. They have an old fashioned quality to them that I love. Even though I’m sure they were done with pen and ink, they almost look like intaglio prints. They are unique and different. I really like the artwork in this book.