Book Review: “The Night Before Christmas in Africa”
Jesse, Hannah and Carroll Foster; illustrated by Jean Christodoulou
At about this time every year, little ones begin to wonder about some very important things.
Have they, for instance, been a good kid–good enough for a visit from St. Nick? Will Santa be able to find their house? Does he prefer chocolate chip or sugar cookies with sprinkles, or is he more of a peanut-butter-cookie-kind-of-guy? And if their home doesn’t have a chimney, how in the world can he ever leave presents?
The good news is that they can stop worrying. As they can see when you read them “The Night Before Christmas in Africa” (c.2004, 2010, Pelican Publishing Co., $16.99 / $19.99 Canada, 32 pages) by Jesse, Hannah and Carroll Foster; illustrated by Jean Christodoulou, Santa Claus can arrive anywhere, anytime, and he might look very different.
’Twas the night before Christmas, and it was dry on the African plain. The cattle were thirsty, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and there was certainly no snow. Monkeys chattered in the treetops.
Maybe they were thirsty, too?
The children were settled down for bed that night, sleeping on mats on the hard, dry ground, while Mama brought pots inside. Her eldest son waited outside, hoping for rain, when he heard a sound from faraway. What could that be? He listened….
And then he saw an incredible sight! It was a donkey cart being pulled by six kudu and a black rhinoceros, and it was piled high with presents. Inside the cart was a man with a long, flowing beard, wearing red from his ankles to the duku on his head. He stopped the cart, stepped out, and opened his heavy sack.
And oh, the most amazing things were in that sack! There was candy for the children and piles of toys, a chair for Gogo, chickens for Mama, and a hat for Kulu. The old man laid the presents out and asked the young man what he wanted for his gift.
Candy and toys were nice for children, and chickens were a good choice for Mama, but what the young man wanted more than anything was rain. Lots of refreshing rain.
Silently, the man in red returned to his sled as a rumble of thunder came from afar. The young man stood. What, to his wondering ears, did he hear?
Sometimes, despite the fact that we love old holiday favorites, it’s easy to become a little tired of them. If that’s the case, you’ll find “The Night Before Christmas in Africa” is a nice twist on the usual.
As the story goes, author Carroll Foster’s children wondered why they never heard African Christmas stories, so Foster simply created one for them. In this re-release of a book once chosen by Oprah as one of her “favorite things,” you’ll get Foster’s cute rhyming story with a bonus: you’ll also be treated to beautifully lush, colorful illustrations from South African artist Jean Christodoulou.
If your little one is getting antsy about Santa’s visit, this book is a nice diversion. “The Night Before Christmas in Africa” is perfect for their ho-ho-holidays.
Based on historical data and more than 50 years of NORAD tracking information, we believe that Santa Claus is alive and well in the hearts of children throughout the world.
Around your house, time is precious.
While it’s true that you’ve got home appliances your great-grandma only dreamed about–an automatic washer and dryer, a microwave, a water heater, an automatic coffee maker, and a cookstove that doesn’t require wood to work–you still can’t manage to sit down for 10 minutes without thinking of 10 things that need doing.
Fun? Who has time for anything fun?
Truthfully, the bad news came as no surprise.
Your Mom hadn’t been feeling well lately, and for weeks you’d heard your parents whispering. You knew she was having some tests done. Still, when they finally told you she had cancer, you couldn’t believe it. You cried for 20 minutes, ran out of the house, kicked the door, or just quietly went to your room to think.
We all know that Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey are BFFs, and if you’re like me, you’ve been waiting for his latest offerings that will air on OWN, Winfrey’s Network. First up, Perry’s first dramatic series, “The Have and Have Nots,” premiering May 28.
The show follows the complicated dynamics between the rich and powerful Cryer family and the hired help who work in their opulent Savannah, Ga., mansion.
This is a familiar story line, and Perry is going to have to bring it to keep viewers watching.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A father and son are expected to be sentenced to federal prison terms today for their roles in the illegal trafficking of South African rhinoceros horns in a case brought as part of a nationwide crackdown on the black market in endangered animal parts.