The Night the Lights Went Out on Christmas

The Night the Lights Went Out on Christmas

Book - 2015
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"It began with just a couple of reindeer and lights on a tree. Then came inflatable snowmen and sleighs. Then camels, candy canes, and barking penguins! Soon the whole block is bedazzled with neon igloos, electric wise men, and dancing elves. But the most wonderful holiday display is the one nobody ever noticed, until one fateful night..."--Book jacket.
Publisher: Chicago, Illinois : Albert Whitman & Company, c2015
ISBN: 9780807545430
Branch Call Number: jX Paul
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 28 cm
Additional Contributors: Brundage, Scott


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Dec 17, 2015

SUMMARY: It started in 1960 with the Johnson family who decided to fill their yard with Christmas galore. They were the only ones on the block until 1983 when the neighbors decided to compete with their own bright lights and decorations. Then, year after year, the neighbors tried to outdo one another with their holiday decorations, until one night they go too far and their Christmas bling takes out the world's power grid. When all the lights go out, they realize how unnecessary all "that plastic, blinky stuff" is because the night sky put on its own light show.

ILLUSTRATIONS: The illustrations are the best part of the book with the soft lines , bright colors and rich details. The use of light and dark is extraordinary.

THE GOOD: The story has a good message about taking time to stop and think about what really matters in life and at Christmas. "All it took on Christmas night to guide three kings was one star's light."
THE NOT AS GOOD: First, the rhymes of this book are very forced and it makes the story (which is already long) flow very slowly. The book comes with a free song (as told inside the front cover). But when you go to the website to listen to the "song" it is not a song at all. It is the author, who is a songwriter, reading the story while he plays guitar. I am not fond of this type of folksy story telling, but if you are, you will enjoy the story better while listen to the "song." Then the off rhyming doesn't get in the way as much.

AGE RECOMMENDATION: Advertised for ages 4-7. I think 4-8 would work as well.


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