The Bookworm Sez 12-14-09 | TheFencePost.com
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The Bookworm Sez 12-14-09

Terri Schlichenmeyer
LaCrosse, Wis.

For about three months, you’ve been making a list.

On it, you’ve got small items like miniature cars or dolls, stocking stuffers and that kind of things. You’ve got medium-sized toys, the battery-run ones or gifts you’d be happy getting but it’s no big deal. Then you added in the things you really want Santa to bring you and a few things you know you’ll never get, but just in case …

As your parents probably remind you, though, Christmas isn’t just for getting presents. Christmas is also for giving, as you’ll see in “Redheaded Robbie’s Christmas Story” by Bill Luttrell, illustrated by Luc Melanson.

It was just about time for the Christmas assembly, and Mrs. Wallace needed to choose the second-grader who got to make up a story to tell in front of the whole school.

Big Eddie, whose father owned the toy store, hoped it would be him. The coolest girl in class, Cool Katie, wished she would be chosen. Munching Max, the kid who was always eating something, raised his hand and waved it in the air.

But Redheaded Robbie only hid.

Whenever Robbie got nervous, his words got all messy and garbled. None of his friends minded, though. They understood him perfectly, and they liked Robbie. They never teased him; in fact, they covered up for him.

Of course, despite that he skooched down on his chair so Mrs. Wallace wouldn’t see him, Redheaded Robbie’s name was picked. Oh, no! Robbie didn’t know what to do. He started to get very, very nervous.

After school the next day, Robbie went to Big Eddie’s father’s toy store and asked Big Eddie for advice. But Eddie’s idea wasn’t exactly right. Then Robbie went to Cool Katie’s house for some suggestions, but her idea wasn’t exactly right either. Then Robbie asked Munching Max, but his idea was even worse.

Redheaded Robbie was on his own.

The next afternoon, at the Christmas assembly, Robbie was nervous. And when he was nervous, his words came out all wrong. The kids in the other grades laughed at him, but his friends knew what Robbie was trying to say and they knew that he’d given them the best gift of all.

Do you have a kid with a bad case of The Gimmes this holiday season? While you probably can’t tame them completely, “Redheaded Robbie’s Christmas Story” might tamper the tantrum for a time.

Author Bill Luttrell tells the story of a quiet boy who truly knows the real meaning behind Christmas and, through his actions, gently reminds his friends. Kids will also be able to identify with Robbie’s embarrassment over mistakes made. Artist Luc Melanson adds in sparse and simple illustrations that don’t detract from the story, which makes this story one that kids will love so much, they won’t let you pack it away with the Christmas decorations.

Kids ages 4 to 8 will enjoy this book, especially when read aloud. If you’re looking for something different to share this Yule, “Redheaded Robbie’s Christmas Story” should be at the top of your list.


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