Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Child's Christmas in Wales” as Want to Read:
Blank-133x176
A Child's Christmas in...
 
by
Dylan Thomas
Rate this book
Clear rating

A Child's Christmas in Wales

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  2,176 ratings  ·  213 reviews
with woodcuts by Ellen Raskin
designed and illustrated by Ellen Raskin

Library of Congress Catalog No. 59-13174

Paperback, 32 pages
Published 1959 by New Directions - James Laughlin (first published 1952)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Child's Christmas in Wales, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Child's Christmas in Wales

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Riku Sayuj
I picked this as an accessible introduction to Dylan's work. A delicate prose poem that proceeds liltingly until the child and the adult versions collides head on, subtly, magnificently bringing about the conclusion.
Cheryl
Of course I've read the story several times before, but Hyman's art truly makes it come alive. It also breaks it up over the pages, so the reader slows down, looking at the pictures and turning the pages - and therefore appreciates the poetry of the text more.

Hyman's art isn't as quite as intricately detailed here as it is in some of her other work, but that's actually a good thing, as it's warmer, more honest, and more like what the old man would remember of his childhood... and therefore more
...more
Nathaniel
The tiny, blue paperback version of Thomas' prose poem is adorned with minimalist, pattern-based woodcuts and published by New Directions. It is less than eight pages of solid text and is dense and desultory enough to warrant multiple back to back readings. The rapidly changing focus of the narrator is caused by his efforts to reach into a grab bag of distant childhood memories and his willingness to mix events together that may have been separated by several years. The boyhood is ultimately wel ...more
Sandy
Delightful. Dylan Thomas is amazing to listen to. A feast for the senses.
Laura
Lovely story. Thanks to Petra and Bettie for sharing this marvelous Christmas book.
James Klagge
This is not a poem, but it is written so well that the language approaches poetry. I first learned of this in the early 1990's in the form of a video on PBS. My uncle recorded it, and it became a Christmas tradition to watch this with my kids. We practically have it memorized and all have our favorite lines. We now watch it on DVD. The video version incorporates all of the text from the book, but adds some material to give it a bit more context. Being familiar with the video version first, the b ...more
Elizabeth
This was a Christmas tradition- to read aloud- at the Gonzaga Honors Program christmas party. I keep this tradition, reading it every Christmas to my own children. Thomas has captured the concept of what memory is, how it unrolls, and how emotional memory can be so poignant that the same temperature (such as the cold snow in his work), the smells, the feelings, the taste of that memory can be pulled out and unrolled. The predominant image in this work is of a snowball, and Thomas gives us that i ...more
Ken Moten
One of the surprises that I received this year was the poetry (and voice) of Dylan Thomas. As good as Thomas' poetry is, it was his voice that has captivated me. I think this voice is what most young American kids thought the British nobility sounded like.

This prose is a simple recollection of various memories of Thomas' Christmas as a child. He is able to paint a picture of the scene in your head and I found myself almost seeing my own image in the vignettes being described. In all, this piece
...more
Lisa Vegan
My mother introduced to me to this book. I think she got it for herself first. Her (Jewish) mother was born in Wales, and, even though my mother was born in Canada, I think she always felt part Welsh. I liked this book when I first read it/had it read to me, although not as much as my mother did. I think I have liked it more as an adult, after learning more about Dylan Thomas’s life & work.
David Schaafsma
This is a lovely book illustrated by children's book artist Chris Raschka of the familiar (but now forgotten by many?) tale written by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas ("Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night") that is always good to read around the holidays. Not really lmited to a kid story, either. Wonderful, wonderful language and joyful telling. The watercolor art is not as soft and inviting as one might expect of such a nostalgic project; it's more an abstract expressionistic depiction of the world o ...more
Judy
A lovely little book. Trina Schart Hyman's illustration captured the essence of the story. I especially loved the cats peeking out in most of the pictures and the illustration of the postman "With sprinkling eyes and wind-cherried nose." This book has convinced me that I would like to read more Dylan Thomas, perhaps some of his poetry.
Offuscatio
"Las Navidades fluyen como una luna fría e inquietante que avanzara por el cielo que aboveda nuestra calle de camino al traicionero mar; y se detienen en el borde de las olas de aristas glaciales - verdaderos congeladores de peces -, y yo hundo las manos en la nieve y desentierro cualquier cosa que posa encontrar."
Maureen
Nov 07, 2008 Maureen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: christmas, children
Who does not love boozy, bleary-eyed Dylan Thomas' childhood Christmas remembrance? Anyone who has heard Thomas read this or any other poem aloud will hear his voice reverberating in their mind. This book is a tiny treasure, and a special seasonal treat.
Pavel Beneš
Jestli se bude edice NOS dál vyvíjet takhle skvěle, mají se všichni nač těšit!
Erik Graff
Apr 03, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Xmas celebrators of childhood
Recommended to Erik by: Einar Graff Jr.
Shelves: poetry
Long, long before I read Dylan Thomas, he read to me. It started at Christmas. Which I cannot recall, nor can I recall a childhood Christmas without him, sonorously, excitedly, rhapsodically evoking his own experience of the holy day and thereby formulating a bit of my own.

The recordings of Thomas, this and his Under Milkwood, came to my family, care of WFMT, Chicago's fine arts station, my father's companion from Sousa marches in the morning to a concluding nocturne sixteen hours later. Usually
...more
Anita Smith
My grandfather used to read this story every Christmas at a community event in his town. We'd go see him read it every year, and there was one line in the story- "Mr. Daniel looks like a spaniel", and every time he read it, I would burst into giggles (no matter how old I was, I thought that was damn funny), and he knew that was my favorite line in the book, so he'd look directly at me every time he read it. He passed away thirteen years ago, and I bought a copy of this book a few years after he ...more
Roberta
Because Circus Flora is performing with the St. Louis Symphony again this year, and the theme is based on A Child's Christmas in Wales, I just had to read this classic. The poetic language is richly descriptive--"All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged, fish-freezing waves . . . " I felt sorry for the cats who were pelted with snowballs by the author and his buddie ...more
Dr. Tim
I was born in Wales so have something of an emotional attachment to this tale. As ever, Dylan Thomas brings events, people, places and emotions to life with a visceral, imaginative style that has never quite been matched by others. Tales of humble backgrounds, poor families, simple times and conflicted families can sometimes drift into being over-emotional and pithy. No such charge can be levelled at Thomas.

If you have a chance, listen to the Richard Burton reading of this. His melifluous, emot
...more
Rebecca
I was hoping that this would be my new favorite story for Christmas, adding to my love for Wales.

What is wrong with me?! I need someone to explain why this book is so highly rated. After two readings I have yet to make sense of it. The illustrations are sweet, but the story is rambling and difficult.

I also bought the audio, which I thought might help, but as yet has only made me fall asleep. (It might have something to do with my exhaustion in preparing for Christmas).

I will try again. In the me
...more
Sian Lile-Pastore
Delightful.
Such a cosy little book about Christmas, all nostalgic and snowy with wonderful illustrations by Edward Ardizzone. I adore the opening paragraph:

'One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I wa
...more
Frank
With all the hustle and bustle of the season, the shopping and shoving and sometimes shovelling, A Child's Christmas in Wales is like a little oasis of calm and quiet. 'Quiet' being a relative term: I read it annually, and every time I can hear Dylan Thomas' voice speaking the words to me from the page, his sonorous, lilting, rolling Welsh voice.

The illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman in this edition are delightful.
Sandy
This extended prose poem is a work of art to be enjoyed any time of year. The humor, the sweet memory, the scenery are palpable. I have always loved then ending, the going to bed on Christmas night, when the hubbub is over but the dreaming goes on. Trina Shart Hyman's illustrations in this edition are wonderfully true to the text and full of fun.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Here's a little sample: "...and some few small aunts,
not wanted in the kitchen, nor anywhere else for that
matter, sat on the very edges of their chairs, poised
and brittle, afraid to break, like faded cups and
saucers." Delightful. Recommended.


Tonya
Another annual Christmas-time read. This book is lyrical. I enjoy it more each time I read it and keep thinking I want to see if I can find an ancient recording of it being read by the author, if such a thing exists. (Note:I may be a little partial to this poet since he is my hubby's namesake).
Rebecca
Jan 01, 2012 Rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rebecca by: Evan
I finally read this in its entirety, and immediately wanted to read it over again and hear it read aloud. My usual reading diet is not this poetic, and this style is so suited for childhood memories and their dreamlike, fragmented quality that is more about a feeling than anything.
Polly
If there's anything nicer than finding that one of your favorite illustrators has illustrated one of your favorite pieces of writing, I don't know what it is! Bonus that my mother feels the same about both, and I therefore had someone to give it to for Christmas!
ღ Carol jinx~☆~
A book for everyone. It has become a familiar part of the holiday-season. A child's eye-view and an adult's warm remembrance of the time of presents, good things to eat, and, in the best of circumstances, newly-fallen snow.
Rowena
Dec 02, 2012 Rowena rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rowena by: Shirley
Shelves: childrens
This was a lovely book and a perfect book to read on the first day of Advent. Very nostalgic, it definitely made me think of my childhood Christmases and how magical they seemed to me.
Rosa Cline
This book probably would have been interesting to me if I knew more about the language they speak in Wales. The various words they use, the meanings of them. This book is put together neatly as smaller stories but often times I felt very lost as if I just opened a book in the middle expecting to understand what was going on. I really did try and read this all the way through but after about 1/3 of the way through I just couldn't finish I was finding myself more frustrated because of not understa ...more
Roben
The very beginning of the book lets us know that "A Child's Christmas in Wales" was first performed as a BBC radio broadcast in 1945. In 1947, Thomas wrote "Conversations about Christmas". Finally, in 1950, he joined them together into one essay titled "A Child's Memories of Christmas in Wales". After Thomas died in 1953, the version used in this book was published as "A Child's Christmas in Wales". Though truly it is a collection of his memories of how Christmas was celebrated when he was a you ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Story of Holly and Ivy
  • A Christmas Memory
  • The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story
  • A Christmas Story
  • Christmas Day in the Morning
  • Letters from Father Christmas
  • Box Of Delights
  • Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus: The Classic Edition
  • Christmas in Noisy Village
  • The Dolls' Christmas (Tasha Tudor Collection)
  • The Bird's Christmas Carol
  • Santa Calls
  • The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm
  • Christmas Book
  • The Secret Staircase
  • Old Christmas: From the Sketch Book
  • Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty
  • Grinny
57189
Dylan Marlais Thomas was a Welsh poet. He is regarded by many as one of the 20th century's most influential poets.

In addition to poetry, Thomas also wrote short stories and scripts for film and radio, with the latter frequently performed by Thomas himself. His public readings, particularly in America, won him great acclaim; his booming, at times ostentatious, voice with a subtle Welsh lilt, became
...more
More about Dylan Thomas...
Collected Poems Under Milk Wood Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog Adventures in the Skin Trade The Poems of Dylan Thomas

Share This Book

“It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea.” 41 likes
“And when the firemen turned off the hose and were standing in the wet, smoky room, Jim's Aunt, Miss. Prothero, came downstairs and peered in at them. Jim and I waited, very quietly, to hear what she would say to them. She said the right thing, always. She looked at the three tall firemen in their shining helmets, standing among the smoke and cinders and dissolving snowballs, and she said, "Would you like anything to read?” 36 likes
More quotes…