Charlotte and her family have just moved to a small town in France. There is a lot to get used to: a new language, new friends, a new school. Even the milk tastes different. As Christmas draws near, Charlotte is amazed to see the town transform itself. The streets are decorated, the shops are full of presents, and the smells of cinnamon and chocolate fill the air. Charlotte, who is Jewish, longs to have a Christmas too. Can she find a way to celebrate the spirit of both Christmas and Chanukah?
Charlotte, a Jewish girl newly arrived in smalltown France, yearns to celebrate Christmas which her parents firmly refuse to do. "Giving" Christmas to an impoverished Christian schoolmate enables Charlotte to do a good deed while vicariously experiencing the gentile world's holiday preparations. Newland's handsome, brooding watercolors aptly evoke a winter of discontent. While Charlotte's internal conflicts and sulky feelings of being left out ring true, some may be troubled by her unalloyed joy in assimilation. Ages 5 9.