Cover image for Messy Bessey's holidays
Messy Bessey's holidays
McKissack, Pat, 1944-2017.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Children's Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
30 pages : color illustrations ; 19 cm.
Bessey and her mother bake cookies for Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah, and after cleaning up the kitchen, they distribute the treats to their neighbors.
Reading Level:
630 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.3 0.5 26931.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.4 1 Quiz: 14535 Guided reading level: H.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
READER Juvenile Current Holiday Item Childrens Area-Holiday
READER Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
READER Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
READER Juvenile Fiction Readers
READER Juvenile Fiction On Display
READER Juvenile Fiction Readers

On Order



This series meets the following Reading First initiatives: - Phonics- Vocabulary- Comprehension- Fluency

Author Notes

Patricia C. McKissack was born in Smyrna, Tennessee on August 9, 1944. She received a bachelor's degree in English from Tennessee State University in 1964 and a master's degree in early childhood literature and media programming from Webster University in 1975. After college, she worked as a junior high school English teacher and a children's book editor at Concordia Publishing.

Since the 1980's, she and her husband Frederick L. McKissack have written over 100 books together. Most of their titles are biographies with a strong focus on African-American themes for young readers. Their early 1990s biography series, Great African Americans included volumes on Frederick Douglass, Marian Anderson, and Paul Robeson. Their other works included Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers and Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States. Over their 30 years of writing together, the couple won many awards including the C.S. Lewis Silver Medal, a Newbery Honor, nine Coretta Scott King Author and Honor awards, the Jane Addams Peace Award, and the NAACP Image Award for Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman?. In 1998, they received the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

She also writes fiction on her own. Her book included Flossie and the Fox, Stitchin' and Pullin': A Gee's Bend Quilt, A Friendship for Today, and Let's Clap, Jump, Sing and Shout; Dance, Spin and Turn It Out! She won the Newberry Honor Book Award and the King Author Award for The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural in 1993 and the Caldecott Medal for Mirandy and Brother Wind. She dead of cardio-respiratory arrest on April 7, 2017 at the age of 72.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Satisfactory additions to the series, these titles retain the small size that's so easy for beginning readers to manipulate, the limited rhyming vocabulary arranged in short simple sentences, and word lists on the final page. Cowboy Up! denotes a cowboy's day at the rodeo and has illustrations on every page, some of which are cleverly enclosed in lariats. Chairs has simple cartoon illustrations and introduces some basic concepts about the shape and sizes of chairs and where they might be found. In Messy Bessey's Holidays, the child bakes cookies for her friends for Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. A recipe for decorated sugar cookies appears just before the word list at the end. This title is more complicated with twice as many vocabulary words and longer, more varied sentence length, and the rhymes are sometimes uneven.-Christina Dorr, Whitehall City Schools, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.