Under the Christmas Tree by Nikki Grimes

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The angel smiles
Atop the tree
And proves me right.
She's happiest there
Poised for flight,
Halo kissing the ceiling
Feeling closer to home.

Twenty-three holiday offerings from Coretta Scott King Award-winning poet Nikki Grimes showcase many facets of Christmastime. From neighborhood kids who only need an icy patch and trash-can lid to have fun, to a family grate-fully sitting down to holiday dinner with all the trimmings, to Rhythm Brown-the blind sax-man who plays "Silent Night" as if he witnessed the first Christmas in Bethlehem-Nikki Grimes revels in the sights, sounds, and feelings that make the season so special. Kadir Nelson provides the perfect counterpoint to each poem with a radiant, revealing painting. Under the Christmas Tree is a gift to be treasured and shared. Open it now and enjoy!


About Nikki Grimes

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Nikki Grimes was born and raised in New York City. She began writing poetry at age six and is well-known for writing award-winning books primarily for children and young adults. Bronx Masquerade and Talkin' About Bessie both won Coretta Scott King Awards, and her poetry collections featuring Danitra Brown are very popular. Grimes received the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 2006. She has written articles for magazines including Essence and Today's Christian Woman, as well as hosted radio programs in New York and Sweden. She has lectured and read her poetry at schools in Russia, China, Sweden, and Tanzania. Grimes is also a prolific artist, creating works of fiber art, beaded jewelry, peyote beading, handmade cards, and photography. Kadir Nelson began drawing at the age of three, and painting at age ten. He won an art scholarship to study at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating with honors, he began his professional career as an artist. He has worked with numerous companies including Dreamworks, where he served as the lead conceptual artist for Amistad and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron; Sports Illustrated; Coca-Cola; The United States Postal Service; and Major League Baseball. In 1999, he started collaborating with several notable authors on a series of picture books including Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen; Ellington Was Not a Street by Ntozake Shange; and Salt in His Shoes by Deloris and Roslyn Jordan. He won a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, a Caldecott Honor and an NAACP Image Award for illustrating Carol Boston Weatherford's Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. He is the author and illustrator of We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.
Published October 1, 2002 by HarperCollins. 32 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Her text is universal in sentiment, but telling in its detail, as when a child waits for her candle to be lit at a Christmas Eve service ("Two-handed, I manage/ To hold my candle still,/ My heart thundering until/ The flame is finally/ Passed to me") or dreams of joining the skaters she watches, ...

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