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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
There’s nothing worse than being sick right before Christmas especially with something like chickenpox and especially for a child like Earnestine, who has all kinds of exciting plans, including being the best angel ever at the church pageant. Mom even fixed up her angel dress to make it sparkle. Now the new girl wears Earnestine’s special dress and plays Earnestine’s part in the pageant, all while Earnestine is confined to bed, itchy, sore, and miserable. That’s where Dad comes in with his special story of Earnestine’s Grandma Lou and that one Christmas when she was almost totally alone. Grandma Lou is never down for long – she found a way to create a family of her own, just for that special Christmas gathering, plus the traditional dinner with turkey, stuffing, and all.
Linda LaRocque’s children's book, Grandma Lou’s Wonderfully Weird Christmas Dinner: A Christmas Tale for the Entire Family, is full of love and joy for the season that should be all about giving and sharing. This sweet, heartwarming story follows Earnestine’s frustration over feeling left out at Christmas, an understandable emotion considering her illness. But the message her father shares is clear in the story he tells her about Grandma Lou and that one Christmas when she suddenly thought she’d be all alone. However, through her own plotting and planning, she created a family for Christmas and a spectacular time for all who participated. Her father’s message is poignant and telling as Earnestine learns that Christmas is all about what you have, not what you receive; it’s all about the loved ones you have around you, even when you can’t go out and celebrate with others. Beautifully told. Loved it!