Thursday, November 29, 2012

All About Merry

Fa La La, by Leslie Patricelli, Candlewick, $6.99, ages 1-3, 26 pages, 2012. He's been happy, sad, big, fast, loud, and now the adorable baby in diapers from Patricelli's board book series is jumping for joy over Christmas -- and making readers giddy too. In this cheerful companion book, Baby races around helping his parent prepare for the holiday and puts himself in the center of everything.  "I love Christmas!" he squeals with a half-moon grin and hands in the air. Baby's perfect tree is just his height and has a twirly crown that matches his curl of hair. When it's time to decorate the tree, Baby swirls up in Christmas lights and a popcorn-cranberry garland, and attaches a star to the tip of his curl. "Look at Me! I'm a Christmas tree!"  Everything Baby does explodes into happy chaos. While decorating a gingerbread house, he glues candy to his head and smears a frosting smile around his mouth. Soon, he's being swung between his parents on his way to see Santa. The line is long and snaky, and Baby has to be patient. But finally it's his turn. In Santa's lap, Baby is eye-to-eye with Santa's beard. Look at how fluffy it is! Wouldn't it be fun to pull? Yank. Uh oh, Santa said, "Ouch!" which makes Baby sad. But it's okay, and with a "Ho, Ho, Ho!" Santa makes baby forget all of his tears. Best part: Seeing baby run loop-de-loops toward the tree on Christmas morning -- he can't help but twirl as he runs, even though it takes him longer to get there. (Baby's tree is so tiny that nothing will fit under it, so Santa has piled his presents over it into a bridge.)

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