What Happened to Merry Christmas?

Written by Robert C. Baker
Illustrated by Dave Hill

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In modern years, it seems the reason we celebrate Christmas has become blurry. Retailers, schools and even many families have taken the phrase “Merry Christmas” from their vocabulary. Robert C. Baker has written a lovely, heartwarming, children’s book that gives hope and encouragement to those of us who wonder What Happened to Merry Christmas?.

Baker writes a story about a young boy named Sam, who comes rushing home from school upset because he believes that “Merry Christmas” is missing. He’s received an invitation from school inviting him to a “holiday” party, instead of the traditional “Christmas” party. His mother, understanding her son’s frustration, begins to share with him all the ways “Merry Christmas” is still everywhere he looks, even if people use different words.

Sam reminds us of a typical early elementary age boy. So not only is this book at the second grade reading level, but it will also capture the curiosity of second grade readers, giving double the value as we encourage our children to read. This touching story will draw readers in right from the start.

Sam’s mother uses typical Christmas decorations and traditions to show Sam where he can find the true meaning of Christmas. From snowflakes to Christmas trees, Sam’s mom shows her son, and children reading this book, just where to find “Merry Christmas”. She even explains to him the very word “holiday” often chosen to replace “Christmas”, actually means holy days, referring to the holy day of Christmas. Sam is elated to realize that not only is Christmas not lost, it’s everywhere he looks.

From the first page, this book captured my attention with its charming illustrations, done by Dave Hill. Every page has beautiful, warm artwork, filled with details. Every thought Sam’s mom shares, is illustrated perfectly for the idea she is hoping for Sam to understand.

What Happened to Merry Christmas?, although written at an early second grade reading level, is enjoyable as a read aloud. I could even imagine taking up where Baker left off, wondering through our home or community to find “Merry Christmas” for ourselves. Robert C. Baker has written a Christmas gem, sure to become a Christmas time favorite that give that gives hope and encouragement to those of us who wonder What Happened to Merry Christmas?

  • Merry ChristmasTitle: What Happened to Merry Christmas?
  • Author: Robert C. Baker
  • Illustrator: Dave Hill
  • Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
  • Reviewer: Pamela Wagner
  • Hardcover: 24 p.
  • Genre: Contemporary

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