Deck the Halls

Common Sense Media says

Nostalgic holiday book is more a tribute to Norman Rockwell.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

People everywhere are shown filled with holiday spirit.

Positive role models

There's little to glean from this simple presentation, but Rockwell always shows happy families in harmony.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this pairing of classic Norman Rockwell paintings with the favorite American Christmas carol "Deck the Halls" presents a very traditional, nostalgic message as well as being a tribute to Rockwell's artwork.

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What's the story?

Beginning with the jolliest Santa any reader could imagine, page after page presents lines of "Deck the Halls," each accompanied by a full-paged festive holiday painting by Norman Rockwell. Though Christmas-themed, this is is more a tribute to the artwork than a Christmas story in song. Rockwell fans, especially, will appreciate the pages in the back of the book where the paintings are identified by title, year of painting, and place of first publishing.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The song is familiar as is the classic Rockwell artwork, which is full of the excitement and warmth of folksy Americana for which he is so well known. His Christmas-themed paintings, chosen to go along with lines of the song, are a perfect fit, especially for the joy in the "Deck the Halls" chorus. Fa-la-la-la-la's ring through the crisp snowy morning as kids sled down the hill at exhilirating speed. And, though not quite so exuberantly, they jingle with excited anticipation as pajamaed boys and girls peer wide-eyed through the window, awaiting Santa.

This book sums up traditional American ideas of what Christmas is all about, especially when looked through the nostaligic eye. However, it is a very '40s and '50s kind of look, comfortably cheerful but, except for the one "Golden Rule" painting, lacking in cultural diversity and inclusiveness.

The book is a showcase for Norman Rockwell's famous art.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Rockwell's art while they sing along ot the carol. Each painting is a story in itself, full of children, dogs, parents, grandparents, mail carriers, all anticipating, enjoying, and otherwise filling the world with holiday spirit. What are the kids doing? Look at their faces.

  • How do you think they are feeling? How do you feel when Christmas is

  • coming? What kinds of things do you enjoy during the holidays?

Book details

Author:Norman Rockwell
Illustrator:Norman Rockwell
Genre:Holiday
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Atheneum
Publication date:October 7, 2008
Number of pages:32
Read aloud:2
Read alone:6

This review of Deck the Halls was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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