Cover image for Under the Christmas tree
Under the Christmas tree
Grimes, Nikki.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations 27 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.7 0.5 64975.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3557.R489982 U54 2002 Juvenile Current Holiday Item Central Closed Stacks
PS3557.R489982 U54 2002 Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
PS3557.R489982 U54 2002 Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
PS3557.R489982 U54 2002 Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
PS3557.R489982 U54 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Holiday
PS3557.R489982 U54 2002 Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday

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The angel smiles
Atop the tree
And proves me right.
She's happiest there
Poised for flight,
Halo kissing the ceiling
Feeling closer to home.
Twenty-three holiday offerings from Coretta Scott King Award-winning poet Nikki Grimes showcase many facets of Christmastime. From neighborhood kids who only need an icy patch and trash-can lid to have fun, to a family grate-fully sitting down to holiday dinner with all the trimmings, to Rhythm Brown-the blind sax-man who plays Silent Night as if he witnessed the first Christmas in Bethlehem-Nikki Grimes revels in the sights, sounds, and feelings that make the season so special. Kadir Nelson provides the perfect counterpoint to each poem with a radiant, revealing painting. Under the Christmas Tree is a gift to be treasured and shared. Open it now and enjoy

Author Notes

Nikki Grimes was born and raised in New York City. She began writing poetry at age six and is well-known for writing award-winning books primarily for children and young adults. Bronx Masquerade and Talkin' About Bessie both won Coretta Scott King Awards, and her poetry collections featuring Danitra Brown are very popular. Grimes received the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 2006.

She has written articles for magazines including Essence and Today's Christian Woman, as well as hosted radio programs in New York and Sweden. She has lectured and read her poetry at schools in Russia, China, Sweden, and Tanzania. Grimes is also a prolific artist, creating works of fiber art, beaded jewelry, peyote beading, handmade cards, and photography.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 2. Simple poetry and warm, full-page paintings celebrate an African American family's Christmas in a snowy city neighborhood. It's "the story we all know," but that's part of the pleasure of it. Grimes brings a six-year-old girl's fresh viewpoint to the holiday traditions as Nelson's pencil-and-paint images move from the busy streets and the packed store windows to warm close-ups of family hugs and kisses and the excitement of gifts under the decorated tree. The best double-page spread is "Lullaby," in which poem and picture capture the quiet beat of Rhythm Brown, "the blind sax-man," who draws a crowd when he leans into his horn and blows "Silent Night" as if he heard "the Baby's cry." In contrast, there's the active fun that comes when the city is "in shock" from a heavy snowfall. Several pages show people at night, their faces glowing in the candlelight, singing carols in the church pew or sharing the holiday feast. The blend of family, faith, and tradition will have wide appeal. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

With any luck, Santa's sack will be filled with copies of this gem of a picture book. Grimes (Meet Danitra Brown) offers glimpses of Christmastime from a child's eyes, in the form of 23 poems that shine with all the hallmarks of the season. Her text is universal in sentiment, but telling in its detail, as when a child waits for her candle to be lit at a Christmas Eve service ("Two-handed, I manage/ To hold my candle still,/ My heart thundering until/ The flame is finally/ Passed to me") or dreams of joining the skaters she watches, carving figure eights in an ice rink. Nelson's (Big Jabe) tender oil paintings feature African-American children and their families, churchgoers and multi-ethnic passersby on city streets. Expert lighting suffuses his interiors with a golden holiday glow. All ages. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-Grimes and Nelson are ideal collaborators for this celebration of the sights, sounds, and feelings of Christmas from a child's point of view. Twenty-three poems take readers through the season, focusing on the life of an urban African-American family. The selections capture the excitement and wonder ("Slightly giddy/And primed/For miracles") as well as humor ("Christmas-His cradle/Is empty. Did He grow up?/Is He Santa now?") and wisdom. Nelson's realistic paintings in rich, muted colors and soft textures masterfully portray the warmth and joy of the selections. This is a treasure that families will want to share every year.-M. W. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.