THIS IS THE PAPERBACK OF THE BELOVED GODINE CLASSIC EDITION
Of all the modern holiday classics, this is perhaps the best known and best loved. In humorous, sonorous, nostalgic prose, Dylan Thomas recalls the church-going, the tree-trimming, the food, the carols and games, not of one childhood Christmas but of them all: he distills here the Perfect Dream of Christmas. For this edition, the immortal Edward Ardizzone produced 30 delightful watercolors and drawings (and if you're clever you can recognize Cardiff as the Welsh town in which the story is set) as a perfect counterpoint to Thomas's lilting words.
"...It's the sheer acrobatic brilliance of the language here that we most love. This is the most delicious read-aloud for having words trip off the tongue." - Elizabeth Bluemle, Publisher's Weekly
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Trina Schart Hyman, a winner of the Caldecott Medal, traveled to Wales to do her research for this book. Among the many titles she has illustrated is an edition of A Christmas Carol, in which she "captures the essence of the work" (Publishers Weekly). About the same title, The New York Times said, "This book is Christmas"
Dylan Thomas was born and raised in Wales. Hailed as the most prominent lyrical poet of his time, he made four trips to the United States and died in New York in 1953 at the age of thirty-nine.
Grade 3 Up–Raschka's illustrations will surely enhance children's enjoyment of this nostalgic, bittersweet memoir. Executed in ink, torn paper, and gouache on sensuously textured paper, they are full of tiny details that beg for closer inspection. Some libraries may still have copies illustrated by Fritz Eichenberg (New Directions, 1997), Edward Ardizzone (Godine, 1980), or Trina Schart Hyman (Holiday, 1985). Of these earlier editions, Hyman's probably succeeds best at capturing the story's time and place. Raschka, however, finds the universal elements that a contemporary child can relate to–the eccentric aunts, the joy of pretending to smoke candy cigarettes, the classification of gifts into "Useful Presents" and "Useless Presents." This is a handsome book that most libraries will want.–V. W.
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