Calvin dreams of getting a bike for Christmas, but when his friend, W.C., tells him there is no Santa Claus, he begins to doubt his dreams will come true.
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The first-time author recalls a special Christmas when his doubts about Santa Claus's existence were dispelled by a gift-- the exact bicycle he'd requested. Though Miles's remembrance is just that, without any special force or drive, it evokes universal childhood worries in clear, heartfelt language. Awake the night before Christmas, Calvin is concerned that he won't get his bike but is even more disturbed by the idea that he might disappoint his parents with his reaction to more modest gifts. In Johnson's realistic paintings, the African-American family is warmly portrayed, crafting the holiday from simple pleasures like popcorn strings and brightly painted pine cones for the tree. The people, glowing in the light of a kerosene lantern, seem sculpted from the page. Genuine sentiments, sweetly expressed in both art and text. (Picture book. 5-8) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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