Reviews for Deck the Walls! : A Wacky Christmas Carol

Booklist Reviews 2013 October #2
Let's face it; wassailing and chestnuts just don't accurately reflect most kids' Christmases. Enter this fractious take on "Deck the Halls." First, there is the big dinner with the extended fam: "Uncle Harvey stands before us. / Fa la la la la / la la la la / Why do aunts and uncles bore us? / Fa la la la la / la la la la." Dealey's five rascally kids do plenty of eye rolling, rule breaking, and acting out, from shuttling veggies to the dog under the table to playing "olive hockey." That is why, in short, this would make for an excellent sing-along--can't you hear the entire school bellowing along? Ward nicely balances Dealey's mayhem with shiny-cheeked, round-featured art that keeps the little hooligans just this side of lovable. Sheet music is included. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Spring
"Feed the dog our peas and carrots. / Fa la la la la la la la la! / Food tastes better when you wear it. / Fa la la la la la la la la." The lyrics of the familiar carol have been rewritten to capture the chaos of a holiday family gathering, with a houseful of rowdy cousins and overworked grownups. Fresh and funny.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #6
"Feed the dog our peas and carrots. Copyright 2013 Horn Book Magazine.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 September #1
This hilarious parody of the familiar Yuletide carol starts with mashed potatoes on the walls and ends with cousins sliding downhill in the snow and the whole family singing carols together. The traditional Christmas song of "Deck the Halls" has a buoyant rhythm but relatively sedate words and images, such as boughs of holly. This version features a group of five cousins who like to mix things up and enjoy their food in some nontraditional ways. As the song begins, the cousins are mashing potatoes, flipping blobs onto the walls. The kids make a snowman out of tomatoes and more mashed potatoes and try olives on their fingers and celery stalks behind their ears. As the family dinner disintegrates, the cousins play olive hockey with celery-stalk sticks; major splashes of gravy result before sensible aunts and uncles intervene. Each line of text is interspersed with the traditional refrain of "Fa la la la la, la la la la" in large type, and the new song lyrics can be sung to the old tune, following along in suitably merry measure. Amusing illustrations and a large format make this a fine choice for singing along with a group, and the traditional words and music are also included. " 'Tis the season to be jolly," after all, and this rollicking parody neatly fits the bill. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 September #3

In the spirit of such fractured Christmas carols as "Jingle Bells, Batman smells," Dealey and Ward introduce a crew of rowdy kids who have some very patient parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Dealey's version suggests decking the walls with mashed potatoes and engaging in some tableside misbehavior, too: "Olive hockey with the cousins./ Fa la la la la la la la la./ Shot on goal! The gravy splashes!/ Fa la la la la la la la la!" Ward fills his spreads with the detritus of a house packed full of relatives for the holidays, and the joyful (and messy) spirit of familial togetherness is contagious. Ages 6-8. Author's agent: Deborah Warren, East West Literary. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 October

PreS-Gr 2--An engaging visual interpretation of the classic carol from a modern kid's perspective. Readers are greeted with rhyming lyrics, "Deck the walls with mashed potatoes. Fa la la la la…," and delightfully expressive, full-color cartoon illustrations of five rambunctious children playfully slinging spuds in the kitchen while Mom attempts to serve Christmas dinner. "Feed the dog our peas and carrots./Food tastes better when you wear it." Eventually, the adults clean up and Dad and the other "boring" relatives successfully get the youngsters dressed and out to play in the snow. All ends well with everyone singing, "Thankful we are all together! Fa la la la la la la la la." Lyrics and sheet music are included. This over-the-top selection is well suited for storytime or one-on-one.--Maureen Wade, formerly at Los Angeles Public Library

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