While the book promises that “readers of all ages [will] learn about the characters and history behind [the holidays]” it falls short of that aim. There are few history lessons in Holiday Poems for Children; one poem about Thanksgiving is from the Native American’s viewpoint, but — at best — it’s superficial. Who was St. Patrick? St. Valentine? You won't find those answers here.
It is hoped that those who read Halloween poems to young children would choose some that might be a little scary but are leavened with silliness. Not so with the sinister “Voices,” one of Bryan’s Halloween entries:
“She hears voices and she knows
“they will follow her wherever she goes.
“The words spoken are very mean,
“but no people can be seen.
“She will sit alone and hide
“because no one is on her side…”
It concludes with the revelation that “she” was having a nightmare which, somehow, doesn’t alleviate the creepiness factor. Paranoia, anyone?
Holiday Poems for Children is, on the whole, an unappealing book. Its pencil and crayon illustrations that look very much like children’s drawings brighten its pages but the words within do not entertain.
Bottom Line: Would I buy Holiday Poems for Children? No.