Reviews for Just Right for Christmas

Booklist Reviews 2012 October #2
One Christmas Eve, a king purchases a bolt of cloth from an outdoor market: "That cloth is so red and soft and Christmassy!" Perfect, in fact, to make a cloak for the princess. What the king does not expect, though, is that the leftover scraps from the cloth, set outside the back door, hold an equal appeal for others. Before night falls, the castle's kitchen maid finds the scraps and sews a jacket for her ma; a badger makes a hat for his pa; a squirrel sews gloves for his wife; and a mouse creates a scarf for her son. With its catchy repetitive phrases, this book is perfect for the preschool child or emergent reader, who can anticipate what will come next. The endearing mixed-media illustrations, often arranged on the page within a simple sewing pattern, effectively capture the joy of the season. The warm message of the closeness of family pervades both text and pictures, and the final two-page spread brings all the inhabitants together, ice-skating in their brand-new finery--a lovely communal touch. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
A king asks his sewing maids to make a red cloak for the princess for Christmas. A kitchen maid makes her mother a jacket with scraps from the cloth. A badger uses leftovers to make his pa a hat, and the cycle continues as the fabric is used by tinier and tinier kingdom inhabitants. Black's story of thoughtful gift-giving is well paired with Beardshaw's jovial mixed-media art.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #1
A king buys a bolt of bright red cloth on the day before Christmas, setting off a chain of gift-making that spreads throughout his kingdom, from his daughter to a tiny mouse. The royal seamstresses work all morning to make a long cloak for the princess. They leave the fabric remnants at the back door of the castle, where a kitchen maid finds them. She takes the cloth home and sews a jacket for her mother. This pattern is repeated, with a badger making a hat for his father, a squirrel stitching gloves for his wife and a mouse using the last, tiny scrap as a scarf for her little son. Each gift-giver is pleased with his or her offering, and all the recipients are grateful for their warm, red gifts. The final spread shows all the pairs ice skating together, with each recipient wearing their red clothing. Charming illustrations in mixed media include cloth and paper pattern pieces, with lines of stitching and ribbons cleverly dividing pages with multiple spot illustrations. The succinct text has the satisfying feel of a folk tale, and it's the sort of story children will want to hear over and over—and the kind adults won't mind reading many times. Just right. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 September #2

Cloth "so red and soft and Christmassy!" is the canvas for many holiday gifts in this warm and satisfying tale, reminiscent of the classic Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree. A king first purchases the luxurious cloth at market so his sewing maids can craft a cloak for his daughter. The leftover scraps are placed outside the back door, where the kitchen maid happens on them and makes a jacket for her mother. The subsequent fabric surpluses are passed along, becoming a hat for a badger, gloves for a squirrel, and a tiny mouse scarf in time for Christmas. Beardshaw's mixed-media art depicts snowy, friendly scenes of camaraderie and generosity. Ages 3-up. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 October

PreS-Gr 3--On Christmas Eve at the marketplace, a king finds a roll of cloth that is "red, soft, and Christmassy" and asks his sewing maids to make a cloak for his daughter. The kitchen maid finds the leftover bits of fabric outside the back door and uses them to make a red jacket for her mother, leaving even smaller scraps for Bertie Badger, Samuel Squirrel, and Milly Mouse to make their own gifts. This is a delightful tale with a nice rhyming cadence, a well-paced and clever buildup, and satisfying ending. The vibrant acrylic illustrations are charming and filled with action, fine for group storytime or bedtime sharing.--Maureen Wade, Los Angeles Public Library

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