Great Joy

Great Joy


$8.33 $8.99 Save 7% Current price is $8.33, Original price is $8.99. You Save 7%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, October 28


“Newbery Medalist DiCamillo spins a tale of compassion and holiday warmth.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

It is just before Christmas when an organ grinder and monkey appear on the street outside Frances’s apartment. When it’s quiet she can hear their music, and when she looks out her window at midnight, she sees them sleeping outside. Finally the day of the Christmas pageant arrives, but when it’s Frances’s turn to speak, all she can think about is the organ grinder’s sad eyes — until a door opens just in time, and she finds the perfect words to share. With this luminous tale, Kate DiCamillo pairs with Bagram Ibatoulline to offer a timeless holiday gift.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763649968
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 09/14/2010
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 179,613
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: AD680L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Kate DiCamillo is the author of The Magician’s Elephant, a New York Times bestseller; The Tale of Despereaux, which was awarded the Newbery Medal; Because of Winn-Dixie, a Newbery Honor book; and six books starring Mercy Watson, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride. She lives in Minneapolis.

Bagram Ibatoulline has illustrated many acclaimed books for children, including Thumbelina, retold by Brian Alderson; The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Great Joy, both by Kate DiCamillo; The Animal Hedge by Paul Fleischman; Hans Christian Andersen’s The Tinderbox and The Nightingale, both retold by Stephen Mitchell; The Serpent Came to Gloucester by M. T. Anderson; and Hana in the Time of the Tulips by Deborah Noyes. He lives in Pennsylvania.


Minneapolis, Minnesota

Date of Birth:

March 25, 1964

Place of Birth:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


B.A. in English, University of Florida at Gainesville, 1987

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Great Joy 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Angelina25 More than 1 year ago
I love this author and was excited to get this for my daughter but I wasn't that impressed. It has a great message but I feel the story falls flat. A girl sees this man outside her window and realizes he is homeless. She feels badly for him and invites him to her play. She is performing when he walks in and then the story ends. I felt the message was there but it could have been developed further. It ended to abruptly for me.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reason for Reading: I am a fan of the author.This is a lovely Christmas picture book that, aside from a religious aspect, captures the true essence of Christmas. First of all, the illustrations are absolutely breathtaking paintings done in acrylic gouache. They place the story in the past sometime, but it is not until we see the photograph of the man in uniform do we place the story as being during, World War II. This book is worthy for its pictures alone. Yet, it has a text equally breathtaking to match. The story of a little girl who has compassion for the organ grinder she sees across the street each day, wondering where they go at night. The mother has no time for the girl's interest in the man, understandably so, under her circumstances. But when the girl stays up late one night and finds out that they live on the street, she sees the sadness in the man's eyes and invites him to church to watch her Christmas Pageant. At first it does not look as if the man will show up and the girl, playing an angel cannot get her lines out. But when she sees him enter the church she boldly cries "I bring you tidings of Great Joy!" Later, we see the organ grinder happily talking to the mother at a reception in the church hall. A heartwarming, touching story for the Christmas season which I think shows a great response to Christ's words "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Matt 25:40
bekstrom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is an example of realistic fiction. This represents a story that could easily happen in present day life. Students could likely see themselves or others in this same position. This allows the students to easily relate to the characters. It tells the truths of how people interact with with other people from all economic levels. I would use this book in an intermediate classroom. The type of media used is pastels.
greenglasspoet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most beautiful picture books I've ever seen. Just published in 2007, I think it's destined to become a treasured family classic that children and their parents will want to return to each Christmas season. Written by Newbery award winning Kate Dicamillo and illustrated by the talented Bagram Ibatoulline, *Great Joy* tells the story of a young girl named Frances who is anticipating (with great joy!) her small part in her church's annual Christmas pageant. The story is set in the 1940s (a fact not mentioned in the text, but evident from the illustrations). Frances and her mother often see an organ grinder and his monkey on the corner, and Frances, with the curiosity of many young children, wonders where the man and his monkey go at night when it's cold. Her concern for their welfare translates into an invitation to them to come to the pageant.This is a poignant and beautiful book, from the golden end papers to the light-filled illustrations. Both story and text gently evoke the longings and hopes of the Christmas season, and show how joyful the good news of that season is when it's truly proclaimed to all. A great family read-aloud.
laws on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent story with great illustrations and an important message for all to hear. The compassion a young girl , Frances, has for a homeless organ grinder and his monkey.
inkcharmed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't wait to read more Kate DiCamillo.
foster7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A young girl named Francis expresses curiosity over an organ grinder and his monkey, after seeing them from the window. One night, she sees them sleeping outside, and asks her mother if they can invite them to dinner. Her mother says no. On the way to her church Christmas pageant, Francis gives the man a nickel, and invites him to her pageant. Her mother encourages her to walk away. In the church, when the time came for Francis to say her line, she hesitated. Then, upon seeing the organ grinder and his monkey, with outstretched arms, Francis exclaims, "Behold! I bring you tidings of Great Joy!" This simple, yet touching, story shows how a young girl can do what many adults would not. Her pure desire to help the old man, or at least, acknowledge him, is very evident, both through the words and pictures. Kate DiCamillo, a Newbery Medal winner, shares a holiday story that can be read year-round. Bagram Ibatoulline's rich gouache illustrations provide picturesque scenes of the city, and reveal the book's main characters' inner feelings. The organ grinder appears old, tired, and cold, just as Francis saw him. For most of the story, she sees him from a distance, but managed to notice him, nonetheless. Her mother's face and body language show a mother with other worries, and she does not seem to want to become involved with this man, nor his monkey, in any way. The illustrations' colors are muted, and dream-like. In the last scene, we see everyone socializing together, probably in another room on the church grounds. The organ grinder took his jacket off, is smiling, and is talking to the mother, who is also smiling. We see the children playing with the monkey. Out of the cold, the old man blends in with the rest of the crowd, looking like any other man, which is, perhaps, just how Francis saw him from the start.
Ariesgrl More than 1 year ago
Frances is an angel in the church’s Christmas play with a very important line to say. The days leading up to the play, she sees an older man with a monkey on the street corner. When Frances soon discovers that they are homeless, she tries to get her Mom to invite them to dinner. However, her Mom declines to allow strangers to enter her home, which leads Frances to invite him to her church play. In this day and age, it seems numerous adults are too busy to help, but this sweet child knows the importance of lending a hand. Although the sad, older man’s story is never shared, readers will get a beautiful ending, thanks to the incredible last picture. The glorious illustrations bring to life a previous decade set in a mystical winter, where anything can happen. Notes: This review was written for Sasee Magazine and My Sister's Books. This review was posted on the Ariesgrl Book Reviews website.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NSJS More than 1 year ago
Nicely written smooth-flowing story. The accompanying illustrations match the words well. The outdoor snow street scenes made me feel cold in spite of reading this in a comfy chair with a hot cup of coffee in-hand! The final illustration depicting the facial expressions of the main characters, especially that of Frances, makes the reader wonder if a budding relationship is beginning to happen between her mother and the organ grinder.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book more every time I read it. It is such an awesome and meaningful way to share some of the true meaning of Christmas with children. It also provides a good way to talk about some of the hardships some people have to face in life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
latinaartemis More than 1 year ago
This story is great to teach children about giving and sharing. Even though there's nothing 'materialistic' about it, here's a young girl who has a wealthy family, and pities the organ grinder and his little monkey. Despite of her mother's concern, the little girl invites the man and his monkey to share the season with her and her family. This gives him great joy- the title of the story. This book is full of beautiful illustrations, and it has a good message for children. I would recommend this to parents and teachers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago