Joy to the World: A Family Christmas Treasury

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Joy to the World: A Family Christmas Treasury Book Poster Image
A good selection of holiday literature.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there are some great stories here, and music is provided for sing-alongs.

User Reviews

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Adult Written byAmethyst April 9, 2008

Good Holiday Overview

I found this book to be a nice overview of Christmas traditions and meanings, both secular and religious. The stories are short enough to read to younger kids (... Continue reading

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What's the story?

A collection of Christmas stories, poems, carols, plays, Biblical excerpts, and information, lavishly illustrated in styles from different historical periods. A good introduction to a wide variety of holiday literature, but many of the excerpts and abridgements will send readers hunting for the originals.


Is it any good?

This is a high-quality edition with lots of content and beautiful pictures. It's a fine choice for families looking for a coffee-table book with a variety of holiday material or for those who don't want a large Christmas library. The selections are good, if unsurprising (with the delightful exception of the excerpt from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever): The carols are classics, and the stories are mostly familiar. The selection of poems is weaker, though there are a few standouts, such as Langston Hughes' Carol of the Brown King.

The information in the introductions is often fascinating. Gannady Spirin's paintings and decorations are often glorious. Ranging in style from medieval-church frescoes and Persian miniatures to 19th-century illustrations, they draw the eye and reward close inspection.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their favorite holiday stories, songs, and poems. What other traditions are important to your family?

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