________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 16. . . .December 19, 2014


The Littlest Christmas Kettle.

Deborah L. Cranford. Illustrated by Michael R. Cormier.
St. John’s, NL: Flanker Press, 2014.
34 pp., hardcover & pdf, $19.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-77117-359-9 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-77117-360-5 (pdf).

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Alison Schroeder.

*** /4



Anna thanked her father for letting Sallie help at the Christmas Faire. “You and Sallie helped quite a few families have a wonderful Christmas they’ll remember for a long time.”

“I’m glad my friends helped too,” she mumbled as another yawn started to form.


The Littlest Christmas Kettle follows the story of a young girl named Anna and her father as they discover a small, neglected Salvation Army Christmas Kettle in a storage bin in the basement of the Corps and turn it into a successful and inspiring fundraising story. When Anna finds the little kettle, she names it Sallie. Anna realizes that Sallie is damaged and needs repairs before anyone will give her the chance to be useful. All Sallie wants is to be helpful and raise funds for families in need, but she has been left out of the campaign year after year.

internal art     Anna asks her parents for help to restore Sallie to her original condition and for help in creating an event to raise funds for families in need. The parents of several of Anna’s classmates develop an event called the Christmas Faire that would be held in the gym of the Corps. In the end, the event is a huge success, and together they raise enough money to help 20 families over the Christmas season.

      The Littlest Christmas Kettle is fairly well written, but, at times, the dialogue is awkward and stilted. It also sometimes seems unclear what age category the book would be appropriate for based on the choice of words. There is a large portion of the story that details all the parents discussing what kind of an event could be held, with lots of suggestions, and lots of reasons why those suggestions wouldn’t work. It seems that there could have been more of a focus on how the children could have participated more directly in the planning and organizing stage of the story to show children things they can do to get involved themselves, rather that to allow the parents to take all the responsibility.

      The illustrations in this book are very colourful and eye-catching; however, they are also disproportionate at times and poorly drawn overall. It’s unclear if the illustrator was attempting a fanciful cartoon style or a more realistic one.

      Overall, The Littlest Christmas Kettle serves as an opportunity for parents to discuss with children the needs of those less fortunate and various ways that they can help and get involved.


Alison Schroeder has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba and is a lover of children’s books.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
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