Cody and Grandpa's Christmas Tradition by Gary Metivier
Published on September 1, 2016.
On Christmas Eve, Cody helps Grandpa, a Vietnam War veteran, carry out a Christmas tradition in remembrance of his unit.
I really enjoyed this sad but sweet Christmas book. Cody's family is having a big family gathering on Christmas Eve. It's full of traditions, some that Cody doesn't understand. Why is there meat in a pie? But there is something more puzzling worrying Cody. His Grandpa still hasn't emerged from his room, and it's close to midnight. When he goes to investigate, he learns that his grandfather served in the Vietnam war. He has a picture of himself and his 5 friends from the service. Some of them didn't come home. He shares a story of a Christmas Eve many years ago, and a promise that he and his friends made to each other. Cody decides to have everyone in the family share in Grandpa's tradition and remember the men who didn't make it home from the war.
This book is geared towards older children - ages 6-10 - who can understand the concepts of death and war as discussed in this picture book. It's a great introduction to the difficulty of celebrating holidays amidst sadness. But it's also a fun lesson in traditions - both sentimental and bizarre - new and old. I loved the author's note at the end of the book explaining the origins of the story and the importance of traditions. This book was a rather non-traditional Christmas story, but I think it's one that many families will be able to relate to.
My Rating: 4 stars
I'm linking up with Booking Mama today for Kid Konnection. Every Saturday Julie hosts this link up for all things relating to children's books.
On the blog last year...
Kid Lit: Here Comes Santa Cat