One Christmas in Our Building: A Very Merry Mystery

One Christmas in Our Building: A Very Merry Mystery
Co-Authors / Illustrators
  • Andrea Stegmaier
Publisher Name
Floris Books
Age Range
Release Date
September 19, 2023
It's a Christmas catastrophe! Or is it? A unique, heart-warming story about community spirit and togetherness.
"Just as we were about to eat our Christmas spaghetti, the doorbell rang."em>
Emma can't wait for Christmas – the tree, the presents, the delicious dinner!
Her dad and stepmom Susan want Christmas to be perfect, but things aren't going to plan – and then their turkey disappears! Will Christmas be ruined?
As Emma encourages her parents to appreciate what they have, their neighbors come knocking to share their own festive traditions and help the family have a very merry Christmas.

Editor review

1 review
Who stole the Christmas turkey?
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
While most books about Christmas are cozy and festive, this book shows that sometimes, things go wrong despite plans being made. In this book, Emma realizes that while her father and stepmom Susan want Christmas to be perfect, there are some problems when traditions are different. Some families don't see presents under the tree until Christmas morning, and some times turkeys can be too be for the pan or even the refrigerator. When the family leaves the turkey outside in the hallway to stay cool, it is a disaster when it is gone the next morning. They ask their neighbors if anyone has seen it, but no one has. There's no other turkey to be found, so the family sits down to Christmas spaghetti. Luckily, the Singhs bring a lamb curry to share, the Wilson-Taylors show up with a cake, and the elderly Mrs. Angel brings some cookies. The neighbors get to know each other a little better through sharing their holiday, although the culprit, a shady gentleman who never talks to anyone, seems unrepentant.

Good Points
Aside from the fact that I am concerned about the food safety of storing poultry in the hallway (Did their neighbor perhaps save everyone from food poisoning by stealing the bird?) this was a fun book about the importance of community over the holidays. Celebrations rarely go smoothly, and it's important for young readers to see that one can still be happy even when things go wrong. Sometimes people argue a bit about how the day should go. There's even a great picture of the father looking at his phone while Susan is struggling with the turkey that seemed very realistic!

The illustrations have a lot of good details about the celebrations others are having in their apartments, and have a quirky feel to them. They feel very current, with the family in loose sweaters and fuzzy socks, with elements like the aforementioned phone.

While this is a little bit of a mystery, there's not much investigation. It's more of a feel good stroy about the importance of community, especially around the holidays. Hand it to readers who enjoy big celebrations, like those in Ashford's A Winter Candle or Sharff's When Santa Came to Stay.
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