25 Days – Book 20: Everett Anderson’s Christmas Coming

Five more days until Christmas. To start off the final countdown, Everett Anderson is here with a poem or two for each day until Christmas telling us what the season is all about. With poetic text written by Lucille Clifton and gorgeous three-color drawings by Evaline Ness, take a look at Everett Anderson’s Christmas Coming from 1971.

“Everett Anderson
loves the sound
of Merry Christmases
all around
and bells ringing
and people singing
and Mama smiling her
secret smile
and winking at him
once in a while.”

Yes, five more days until Christmas. And this sweetly poetic book with the same lovable character from this duo’s previous collaboration, Some of the Days of Everett Anderson, shares the anticipation of the coming holiday. He watches snow fall past his apartment window, wistfully window shops, spies on his Mama’s late party on the 23rd, watches a Christmas tree arrive in the elevator, ponders the manger and the baby, and also jokes about boys who have too many boxes to open Christmas morning instead of having lots of fun.

Everett Anderson's Christmas Coming inside spread

I am captivated by this book. Lucille Clifton’s poetry is lovely with all its movement and limited detail – hinting at the truth of the little boy’s life – but really ringing loud with his heart of joy, and determination, and gratitude.

The alternation between pages with text and full spreads of illustration are simply stunning. Evaline Ness’ iconic style with line-and-wash drawing in three colors creates such a sensitive, powerful, and fascinating look. I’m particularly drawn to the color choices as they work flawlessly and yet have no trace of the familiar Christmas colors or vibrancy.

Everett Anderson's Christmas Coming inside spread 2

A sweet book full of 70s influence, a different color palette for Christmas, and unforgettable illustrations from an African American city boy’s perspective of the holiday – this book is lovely to behold and share.

“Merry Christmas from me
says Everett Anderson.”

Follow along our book adventure at 25 Days of Christmas in 2013.

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