Do Not Open Until Christmas is a collection of Christmas-themed short stories from critically acclaimed children's author Jean Little. From a young boy settling in with a new family complete with new siblings (and a chipmunk and raccoon!) just in time for Christmas to a Dickensian story of Barnardo children trying to settle in to a new home after being rescued from the poverty of living on the dangerous streets of 19th century London, these stories are filled with hope and all of the warm and joyful feelings of the holiday season.
is the award-winning author of many books for young readers including From Anna, Mama's Going to Buy You Mockingbird and Willow and Twig. She has been the recipient of the Governor General's Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award for her writings. When not writing, Jean Little works with young people in schools, church and the community.
Jean lives in Guelph, Ontario.
"Beloved author Jean Little is an expert at creating stories about the inner lives of children, a talent that is on full display in each of these 12 Christmas-themed tales. . . The stories are quick and accessible, each with a heart-strings-tugging conclusion. The miraculous coincidences and orphan characters at times touch on Victorian sentimentality, but Little's expression of children's realistic passions and troubles places her collection firmly in the contemporary world. In her hands, Christmas is a place — one of angels, carols, unexpected gifts, and the promise of comfort, however it might manifest."
— Quill & Quire
"The spirit of Christmas is love. It's about faith, and hope, and giving. In each of these stories, there is love. There is also faith, hope and giving. In each of these stories, the children are resourceful beings who fight for what is truly meaningful. In some cases, there is help from loving adults, but it's the children who take the initiative to resolve the problems they're faced with. . . In these stories, there are some surprising twists that may give young readers new thoughts. But this reader thinks it is in relaying the darker realities of life while imbuing those suffering them with the hope and resilience necessary for life to continue and even to flourish that Jean Little's prose shines. She makes readers believe in guardian angels after all.
— CM Magazine