Cover image for Mim's Christmas jam
Mim's Christmas jam
Pinkney, Andrea Davis.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt, [2001]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
When Pap goes away to build the New York City subway in 1915, his family sends him Mother's special jam which works magic in returning him home to celebrate Christmas.
General Note:
"Gulliver books."
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.9 0.5 51314.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
PIC.BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Childrens Area-Holiday
PIC.BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
PIC.BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Holiday

On Order



The best part of Christmas is the whole family savoring Mim's belly-hum jam together . But this Christmas, Pap is far away in New York City, digging a hole for something called the subway, and his family is missing him something awful. Pap aches to be home, but the heartless foremen of his dig site have decided there will be no break, not even for Christmas. It looks like it's going to be one lonely holiday for everyone . . . until young Saraleen and Royce send their pap a gift that may just inspire a Christmas miracle.
The recipient of a Coretta Scott King Author Honor and a two-time Caldecott Honor illustrator have created a warm and magical holiday classic about the power of love, complete with the recipe for Mim's Christmas jam.

Author Notes

ANDREA DAVIS PINKNEY is an acclaimed author whose awards include a Coretta Scott King Author Honor for Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters . She is also a children's book editor in New York City.

BRIAN PINKNEY is a celebrated picture book illustrator who has won two Caldecott Honors, the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, and three Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honors. The Pinkneys live in Brooklyn, New York.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3-8. Pap is spending Christmas Eve in New York City "digging a long, wide hole for something called the subway." The children miss him, so Mim suggests they make him a batch of belly-hum jam, a recipe passed down from ancestors who were slaves. Its main ingredients, she tells the children, are love and pride in their family. Pap is nearly reprimanded by his foremen when he tries to share his jam with other workers, but he's rescued by the sweet smell of the belly-hum. After just one taste of the jam, the foremen stop the work and send everyone home for Christmas. This heartwarming tale not only reveals some history about one of the country's greatest engineering marvels but also portrays the essence of Christmas spirit. Brian Pinkney's trademark scratchboard illustrations are a fitting nostalgic accompaniment, and there's a clear, concise preface that supplies background about the subway's construction. Mim's jam recipe is at the end of the book. --Cynthia Turnquest

Publisher's Weekly Review

In the Pinkneys' (Duke Ellington) hands, a tasty family tradition and New York City history make a flavorsome pairing. It's 1915, and Christmas just isn't the same when Pap must be away from Mim and their children while he works to build the New York City subway system. But a jar of Mim's "belly-hum jam" unexpectedly works its own small miracles. Vibrant scratchboard compositions skillfully contrast the dank underground construction site with the warmth of home. Ages 3-7. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-During the Christmas season of 1915, Pap can't be with his family in Pennsylvania because he's digging the new subway tunnels in New York City. To cheer him up, his children send him a jar of their mother's famous belly-hum jam, one taste of which softens the hearts of two mean foremen, who give the workers Christmas off. The scratchboard illustrations are equally effective whether depicting a snowy landscape, a homey kitchen, or the gloomy dankness of the subway tunnel (where the jar of jam glows like a ruby). A satisfying slice of life with a rich and delicious message.-E. M. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.