Merry Christmas! We made it to the end of our second year of 25 Days of Christmas Children’s Books. This season went so fast! For our Christmas day book, I have a sweet board book edition of a story from 1988. A barnyard prepares for a guest with small animal tasks to tidy and clean, all prodded by a little mouse who keeps insisting that someone special is coming. This is Who Is Coming To Our House? by Joseph Slate, illustrations by Ashley Wolff.
This book kind of reminds me of a childhood Christmas favorite that we talked of last year called The Animals’ Christmas Eve. That one teaches about the idea of the baby Jesus being born by counting the stable animals. This story has all the animals preparing the stable for the visitors that only the mouse seems to know the identity of. The ram dusts the beams, the chicks sweep the earth, and the goose lines the crib with eider. It is a different perspective of the Nativity story without actually talking of the Nativity itself.
I love the simplicity of this book. The rhyming pattern by Joseph Slate is lovely and unique, using words like “eider” and “rig” that you don’t often see in picture books. It is a quick read, but has a unique twist and perspective. The animals all have specific tasks and the anticipation builds as they prepare and keep asking who is coming.
I also love the illustrations by Ashley Wolff. Her style is so strong, with lovely detailing. I’m always a fan of bordered images with pieces that break the boundaries. I find it interesting to compare her illustrations from this book in 1988 to her newest creations about that wonderful baby bear.
Thanks for reading along our 25 Days of Christmas in 2013 as you prepared for the Christmas holiday. Perhaps we’ll do it again next year! I hope your celebrations are lovely and festive with a welcoming heart to whomever may be coming to your house.