It's Christmas time at Happy Skies Farm! Tillus the worm, Big Red, Sammy and the rest of the team are excited to celebrate the season. But Casey the farmer is busy working: feeding animals, repairing fences and planning for the year ahead. With so much to do, Casey wonders if she'll have time to prepare for the holidays. That's when Tillus and the team unite to make this Christmas extra special for their busy friend.
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Age Group: 4-8 years
Source: Review copy from publisher
Reviewed By: Kelli & Kaitlyn
Casey's Bright Red Christmas is such a sweet Christmas story! Kaitlyn and I both loved it. After being introduced to Casey and Friends in A Year on the Farm, we felt like we knew the characters and that made the book even more fun to read.
The story starts with Casey reflecting on all she has to do to get ready for Christmas. She has to do her normal farm chores, plus all of the decorating and baking. This feeling of being overwhelmed with a "to-do" list was authentically portrayed for a young girl who runs a farm and also stuck a note of sympathy with me, and probably most other parents who read this book. Christmas is my favorite time of the year, but it's also the busiest time of the year.
And then, Casey comes down with a cold and can't do everything on her list. She plans to go to the shed to start decorating for her farm friends but falls asleep at her kitchen table instead. Tillus the worm gathers everyone together and they decide to set Christmas up for Casey for a big Christmas surprise.
As a parent with a chronic illness, I loved the theme of helping those in need, and doing for others when they can't do things for themselves. Casey deserved a break, and needed help, and when the team recognized that Casey takes care of them all year long and that it was time for them to take care of her, it was a poignant moment for me. That's the kind of love in action that I love to read about, and of course, experience in my own life!
And so, the theme of the book becomes about the true meaning of Christmas: giving, helping, and sharing. The farm friends surprise Casey, and they spend Christmas together, singing carols and enjoying cookies and hot cocoa. Kaitlyn loved the idea of the farm equipment setting up Christmas for Casey, and how each friend had their own way of doing things: playful, distracted, focused, in charge, particular, etc. That was a nice metaphor for different personality traits and how each worked together to make Christmas special for everyone. I should note here that while the first Casey book, A Year on the Farm, was geared towards ages 5 and up, this story was more appropriate for a four year old.
Casey's Bright Red Christmas was an excellent read, and we highly recommend it!