Always Together at Christmas – written by Sara Sargent, illustrated by Mark Chamber

  Always Together at Christmas – written by Sara Sargent, illustrated by Mark Chambers, Random House, 9780593380840, 2020

Format: Paperback

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Picture Book

What did you like about the book? This is a timely book for the 2020 holiday season. It highlights what Christmas is all about – family, love, magic, believing, giving, joy, and shows ways that families can celebrate Christmas differently this year. Some ideas include leaving presents for family and friends on their doorstep, watching Santa drive by in a firetruck wearing a mask, and wearing matching family pajamas and masks. Readers will see relatable images from the pandemic, including people waving out their window to friends outside and video calls with family. The Zoom-like illustrations were especially fun, including boxes with different family names in the corners, microphone, camera, and chat buttons, etc. A diversity of families was also shown, including a same-sex family, families of different races (including biracial), and a person in a wheelchair. 

Anything you did not like about the book. It’s perfect for this year, but likely (hopefully!) will not be needed beyond a month from now. 

To whom would you recommend this book? This is a perfect book for families that celebrate Christmas to read together as they are discussing how Christmas will be different this year. It could also be read by people who don’t celebrate Christmas for ideas of celebrating other holidays, but would not be as enjoyable since Christmas is the major focus. 

Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public librarians

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts

Date of review: Nov. 28, 2020

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