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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Giorgie's Christmas Dinner is a holiday-themed picture book for children written by Joan E. Derrick and illustrated by Laila Savolainen. Summer in Australia can get very hot, and people make sure to get all their chores finished early in the day. It’s almost Christmas, and Giorgie is getting more and more excited by the day. She loves Christmas, and everything that the holiday means to her. She loves seeing her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, and she can’t wait to see what’s in the brightly wrapped presents sitting under the Christmas tree.
One of Giorgie’s daily chores is feeding the chickens each day, which she does bright and early in the morning. Giorgie’s a bit frightened of Mr. Rooster, a big and somewhat intimidating rooster who seems to be in charge of the roost. She’s overheard her father and Uncle Jack discussing Mr. Rooster’s aggressive behavior, and they spoke of making him Christmas dinner. Mr. Rooster made Giorgie nervous, but she wasn’t at all sure that she wanted him to become dinner. Then Giorgie’s angel, Astara, appeared. She told Giorgie about the cycle of life, and how everything in nature is interrelated and interdependent.
Joan E Derrick’s holiday-themed picture book for children, Giorgie's Christmas Dinner, is a sensitive and inspirational tale about nature and life as told to Giorgie by her angel. While most kids will not share Giorgie’s experience of seeing a pet or farm animal become dinner, many kids have concerns about eating meat and think about becoming vegetarians. Derrick’s story addresses what can be a troubling subject in a caring and empathetic way, though I would caution parents to use their own judgment as to whether their youngest children will find the concept of Mr. Rooster becoming dinner just a bit too upsetting. Laila Savolainen’s illustrations fit the subject matter quite well. Her use of colors is inspired, and her depictions of Giorgie made me smile. Giorgie's Christmas Dinner is recommended.