A story about a girl who loves Christmas and finds the true meaning of the season, Molly Meadow’s Christmas Wish encourages readers to reflect on what makes the holiday special.
Molly loves all the Christmas trappings: the tree, decorations, cookies and presents. But she’s also a reflective girl who wants to learn more about how others think of Christmas. She writes a “survey,” which her parents suggest she narrow down to one meaningful question: What makes Christmas special?
Molly visits neighbors to ask her question. From the librarian, she learns about choosing books tailored to one reader; from the old woman who lives in the house her friends say is haunted, she learns that an act of kindness can help give someone a new lease on life.
Later, Molly finds a puppy; although she wants to keep it, her parents insist she put up fliers to find its rightful home. Ultimately, she learns that the old woman had found the puppy earlier. The woman writes Molly that it “must have slipped out when I opened the door.” She then gifts it to Molly, and Molly realizes that Christmas is special because of gifts from the heart.
Molly is an introspective character who will appeal to readers sharing her sensibilities. The narrative is complemented by straightforward illustrations that capture the action in each spread.
However, the story meanders and is dense, with multiple paragraphs per spread. The result is a book that appears as an early chapter book most suitable for ages 5-9, despite its picture book format. The book also suffers from some errors in spelling (“shuttered” versus “shuddered”) and formatting mistakes, such as single paragraphs with dialogue from multiple characters. It’s also questionable whether the woman can give Molly the puppy without looking for the initial owner, since she admits she also “found” the puppy.
Molly Meadow’s Christmas Wish is a comforting seasonal read but would be improved by addressing the issues mentioned above.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.