The Christmassy Cactus by Beth Ferry

The Christmassy Cactus by Beth Ferry
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Holiday, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Tiny Cactus loves Christmas!

But she doesn’t love that her little girl seems to be spending more time with the giant sparkly tree in the living room than with her. Maybe if she were decorated like the Christmas tree, her little girl would notice her again.

And so Tiny Cactus makes a wish—to be special, to be noticed, to be a part of the magic of Christmas. With the support of her friend and some Christmas magic, Tiny Cactus learns that wishes can come true if you believe hard enough.

It’s not really Christmas until everyone is included.

Jealousy comes in many forms, but it generally isn’t talked about in books about this holiday in my experience. I liked the fact that the author acknowledged how celebrations can accidentally leave some people – or cacti – out of the fun and what someone should do if they feel like they’re being left behind. This was a thoughtful exploration of how to deal with a difficult emotion and how to think the best of others even if their actions sting a little.

I was surprised by the fact that no one in this story thought to decorate Tiny Cactus, especially given how much she was loved by her little girl. When I was a child, I put small, light decorations on my family’s house plants at Christmas time. It would have been nice to know why these characters didn’t think of that solution as it was a pretty simple fix for the conflict.

One of the other things I liked about this tale was how realistic it is. Other than the fact that the cactus could talk, everything else was firmly rooted in what could really happen that would make the holiday season more memorable for everyone involved without requiring the intervention of anyone wearing a red suit and passing by in a magical sleigh. This is an uncommon choice for this genre, but it worked really well for the subject matter.

The Christmassy Cactus was heartwarming.

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