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Caillou, Happy Holidays!    by Marilyn Pleau-Murissi & Eric Sevigny order for
Caillou, Happy Holidays!
by Marilyn Pleau-Murissi
Order:  USA  Can
Chouette, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Michelle York

Why do we hang stockings at Christmas? Or drag a tree into our living room?

No, it's not the crazy antics of sleep-deprived parents. These deeply ingrained customs have roots in many different cultures, as a sweet little boy named Caillou is about to find out.

A new book published by Chouette brings the popular PBS character back for another adventure. As the holiday season approaches, Caillou's dad gives him a special Advent calendar to count down the time.

When Caillou opens a new window on his calendar, he sees into another time and place. The custom of cutting down trees for decoration came from Germany, Caillou learns, while the world's first Christmas cards began in England. The book gives a nod to other religious traditions when Caillou visits a Jewish friend celebrating Hanukkah.

The book, Caillou, Happy Holidays! is an adaptation of a long-running PBS series that is a must-see for preschoolers. Writer Marilyn Pleau-Murissi tailored the story from the animated film version, with illustrations by Eric Sévigny. Both outdid themselves in bringing an authentic version of Caillou into book form.

Though the book is centered on a holiday, its lesson of multiculturalism is something that can fascinate and inform young readers year-round.

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