This book has been among my Christmas collection for a couple of years, but I avoided reading it because of the disturbing cover. At the encouragement...moreThis book has been among my Christmas collection for a couple of years, but I avoided reading it because of the disturbing cover. At the encouragement of a good friend, I courageously opened the cover and began to read handed the book to my husband and made him read it aloud.
With the emotional distance this provided, I found the story wonderful (definitely worth four stars) and, though I was hesitant to look at them, I only truly disliked five of the illustrations.
I've known this Hans Christian Andersen story since I was eight when I auditioned for the theatrical production at a local playhouse. I didn't make th...moreI've known this Hans Christian Andersen story since I was eight when I auditioned for the theatrical production at a local playhouse. I didn't make the cast, but a friend of mine won the lead. She performed it beautifully and her interpretation has since stayed in my head.
The artwork in this version is nice, though not exceptional.(less)
I admit, I've never quite known what to think about Babar. (Not to mention how to correctly say his name. My husband and I have had hundreds of two ar...moreI admit, I've never quite known what to think about Babar. (Not to mention how to correctly say his name. My husband and I have had hundreds of two arguments about whether it is Ba BAR' [me] or BAB' ar [he].) There is something unaffected about the simplistic colorful drawings and the stylish up-right pachyderm family that really appeals to me. It may stem from the fact that as a child I never owned a Babar book and he was known to me only in a distant, library-check-out sort of relationship. Intellectually, however, I know that these books are really not very well written.
This holiday version is the same: really not very well written, but cute and strangely enticing.(less)
One year for Christmas, I thought it would be cute to write a little tag on the gifts to my children from Santa. I used extra curly calligraphy thinki...moreOne year for Christmas, I thought it would be cute to write a little tag on the gifts to my children from Santa. I used extra curly calligraphy thinking someone as magical as Santa to have somewhat effeminate handwriting. What I didn't plan on with this creative endeavor was having to continue this laborious font for anything more than my children's names. The following year, my children were asking for Santa's autograph and then for more extensive communications for which I had neither desire nor energy. My daughter even left $1.25 under her tree thanking Santa for his generosity and requesting something written. When she awoke Christmas morning to find that Santa had forgot/jilted her, we dealt with tears for an hour.
Because of this experience, I have a greater appreciation for the adoring father which resides in the person of J.R.R. Tolkien. Not only has his Santa responded to letters from his children, but his Santa has an on-going pen pal relationship with the Tolkien children, letting the children see his weaknesses and mix-ups, his talent as an illustrator, as well as the inner workings of the North Pole workshop.
These letters were never intended for publication but were meant only for the affectionate eyes of his children and are, therefore, the more intimate and endearing.
*Note: Had the Tolkien children been looking carefully, they might have caught the similarities of writing between the map-maker of Middle Earth and the scribbles of Santa's North Polar Bear.(less)
I think my rating is closer to 3 1/2 stars, but I held back because I'm not so fond of the sing-songy rhyming (although for the target age range, this is appropriate and would work well being read aloud).
This is one to which you (I) don't just allow a child to have free access lest the tokens inside the envelopes end up missing/torn, etc. This goes on a top shelf.(less)
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...moreI 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 meantime, someone please teach me to enjoy this book!(less)
Hmmmn. I may not be cut out for Post-Modern lit. I have great fondness for Stravinksy and LOVE The Rite of Spring, but I should have learned after sit...moreHmmmn. I may not be cut out for Post-Modern lit. I have great fondness for Stravinksy and LOVE The Rite of Spring, but I should have learned after sitting through a performance of Eight Songs for a Mad King that most Post-Modern works just end up making me mad.
Such it was with this.
I wanted to love it. I loved the cover after all; orange with hundreds of pin-pricks poking through. Texture you can't pass up without touching. I patiently waited through the patched together narration (while appreciating the creative word play), but it felt like the execution of the novel had priority over the plot. The plot was somewhat engrossing, but the character development was hollow. Overall, I just didn't appreciate the process.
*My husband (who loved it) is chiding my review and warning me that in the distant future when this avant-garde work is considered a classic, I will have to come back and delete this review. It'll be like our parents' generation: Everyone (says they) voted for Jack Kennedy.(less)
Cute pictures. Fun. But *clearly the Department of Education is using public education as a tool to usurp the sanctity of this family-oriented holiday...moreCute pictures. Fun. But *clearly the Department of Education is using public education as a tool to usurp the sanctity of this family-oriented holiday and force vegetarianism on us all.
*It's pathetic to have to spell this out, but I am being facetious in this comment. Please do not send me angry, bitter and hateful e-mails. See my review of The Very Hungry Caterpillar if you don't believe this could happen.(less)
I've been searching for some quality Thanksgiving Season children's books ... because, I know this may sound hard to believe but, there aren't many ch...moreI've been searching for some quality Thanksgiving Season children's books ... because, I know this may sound hard to believe but, there aren't many choices. This one, though, may be a winner. It MAY be a winner. I bought my copy used through Amazon. When it arrived, my children gathered around my knee and we began to test it's pages. Being a used copy, I expected a little wear and tear, but cute little "Amy" simply wrote her name on the inside flap. The pages were perfectly crisp and clean...Good job, Amy! Your parents have clearly shown you the correct way to handle a book!
The story is quite cute (though slightly repetitive...I will allow for some of this in children's books) and the pictures are sweet. The story builds up to a climax as we worry about what will happen to this mouse when...
Augggggh! Bad Amy! Bad Amy! Why have you ripped out the final and most important page in this most promising book?
Until further notice, I have assumed the best ending and based my rating on how I think this book should end.(less)