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January 9, 2021

A Cheery Picture Book to Brighten the Holidays: ALWAYS TOGETHER AT CHRISTMAS

by Donna Huber

Due to delivery delays, I just received a copy of the new children's picture book Always Together at Christmas written by Sara Sargent and illustrated by Mark Chambers. 

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Always Together at Christmas
November 2020; Random House; 978-0593380840
ebook, print (32 pages); picture book
I don't read a lot of picture books given I don't have any children, but I really liked the concept and theme of this Christmas book celebrating the holidays even when we couldn't all get together.

There has been a lot of change for kids this year and we all know how important routine can be for children. I've been glad that my niece and nephew are nearly adults because this past year would have been so much harder when they were little. Even so, this is the first Christmas since they were born that I didn't see them at all. 

Always Together at Christmas provides a bright, positive attitude to the possibility of celebrating the holidays away from people that you had always celebrated with. We've heard on the news and parent blogs the need to be positive about any changes in routine this past year to give kids the sense of safety and that everything would be okay. But I imagine that can be difficult at time for parents who are stressed with finding childcare or juggling working from home with schooling from home. So this book can help parents be cheery even if they aren't really feeling it deep down themselves.

The illustrations are wonderful. They depict typical Christmas scenes - Santa Claus and families gathered around the tree. There are also scenes that were tweaked to reflect what most of us were experiencing this past holiday - waving to friends from across the street or "Zoom" screen squares with family. The cheery feel that is reflected in the tone of the writing is carried through in the imagery. 

Overall, it made me smile and feel calm. Even now that we have celebrated the holidays, it gave me a sense that it's is all okay that we spent it a little differently.

While this year it was more widespread, it isn't uncommon for families to spend the holidays apart. Military families often are separate from loved ones, particularly if a parent is deployed, and the holidays can be difficult for children. Sometimes illness or age keeps extended family from gathering. Then there is the cost of long-distance travel that can be prohibitive for many families. So even though the intent for this book was to help children understand about Christmas being different this past year, I believe that its message will be timely for many families every year.

Buy Always Together at Christmas at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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  1. Lovely review and what a helpful book! Thank you for sharing - you're right in that parents are now seriously concerned about their children's ability to cope with being so cut off from extended family, right now.