Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Child's Christmas in Wales” as Want to Read:
A Child's Christmas in Wales
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Child's Christmas in Wales

by
4.16  ·  Rating details ·  4,771 ratings  ·  481 reviews
Originally emerging from a piece written for radio, the poem was recorded by Thomas in 1952. The story is an anecdotal retelling of a Christmas from the view of a young child and is a romanticised version of Christmases past, portraying a nostalgic and simpler time. It is one of Thomas' most popular works.

Summary (on verso of title page): A Welsh poet recalls the celebrati
...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 1st 1985 by Holiday House (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.
Popular Answered Questions
Evan O Absolutely it is for adults and children. I read this to my kids every year at Christmas, and I read it to myself even when they are not around. It is…moreAbsolutely it is for adults and children. I read this to my kids every year at Christmas, and I read it to myself even when they are not around. It is a beautiful poem full of meaning and wit. you will discover new beauty in it every year. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,771 ratings  ·  481 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
My artistic, flighty mother, who's in her 70's, flits in and out of my life, leaving quirky gifts behind. Sometimes they go straight to Goodwill (used clothing, cheap knickknacks); sometimes they're useful (a type of mop she particularly loves); sometimes they're delightful (my grandmother's sterling silver set, books that have moved her, beautiful impressionistic landscapes that she paints in oils or watercolor).

description

This illustrated book version of Dylan Thomas's reminiscing about his boyhood Chri
...more
David Schaafsma
“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 was six.”

This is a lovely picture book illustrated by Chris Raschka of the familiar (but now forgotten by many?) tale written by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas ("Do
...more
Jason Koivu
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I need more Dylan Thomas in my life!

I was unaware of this fact until today, having never read his stuff before aside from "Do not go gentle into that good night" some 30 or so years ago. I don't usually go in for poetry, but I loved his cadence and imagery. Beautiful stuff!

"A Child's Christmas in Wales" is very much like a more lyrical version of Jean Shepherd's "A Christmas Story". I put that in quotes, not italics, because I've only ever seen the movie version, never read it. With that in mind
...more
Riku Sayuj
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
I read this over at https://www.poemhunter.com/best-poems... and also treated myself to a listen over on You Tube of Thomas reading this himself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Hoxy... I normally hate being read to but it is impossible to hate this beautifully vibrating voice breathing even more life into this work.

I've never read nostalgia so well realised & I loved the gentle humour.

Here is a quote dear to a Goodreader's heart.

And when the firemen turned off the hose and were standing
...more
Julie
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 was six. 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 t ...more
Melki
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ho-ho-ho, memoir
All the Christmases roll 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, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find.

How did I, a huge fan of Christmas and celebrations in general, manage to ignore this book for so long?

Not a clue - but it was THIS version with illustrations by the marvelous Chris Raschka

description

that finally convinced me to dig in.

This is a happy t
...more
Julie
I realize, now, that Dylan Thomas has been trying to capture my attention for 41 years. Sorry it took so long. I'm here now. Let's proceed.
Jessaka
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
“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 was six.”

While this story by Dylan’s is wonderful when read, you will find it more special when listening to it being read by Dylan Thomas, but my own audio
...more
ShirleyS
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, holidays
Such lovely descriptive prose! I was mesmerized by the language and don’t know why I haven’t read or listened to this before. Jessaka’s review piqued my curiosity to check it out and I’m glad I did.
Bam
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Classic memories of Christmas from a bygone era. Oh what fun! Thomas did radio performances and recorded this in 1952; it was published in book form in 1954. This edition was beautifully illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman.
Teresa
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reread.

A humorous, nostalgic tale of Christmas Eve afternoon through Christmas night, full of unique imagery and lovely phrasing.

Perhaps it's because I watched parts of the movie 'A Christmas Story' on Christmas Eve that I was reminded of Ralphie as I read this tonight-- even if there is no BB gun.
Shayan Foroozesh
Although I know almost every thing about Christmas, I have never felt it first-hand. And I must say I'm really unschooled about Wales. But This little book, with its cadenced prose enchanted me with its music of words and powerful visualization so that I could hear "distant speaking of the voices," "the carol-singing sea," "the muffling silence of the eternal snows," and the rumbling and mumbling of aunts and uncles and their music; could smell the two-tongued sea and the scent of a warm crowded ...more
Cheri
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
”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 snow for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.”

And so begins A Child’s Christmas in Wales.

An oh-so-lovely, Christmas tale, written by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, and perfect for those who appr
...more
Linda
I understand A Child's Christmas in Wales was first published in 1954 and a year after the author's death. It was based on his childhood exploits while growing up. Mr Thomas's words easily lulled the reader into an innocent past.

On its own, I would have given the story 3 1/2 stars but my copy was the slim hardback with pictures drawn by Trina Schart Hyman. I loved her illustrations. Some were in black and white, others were in color. As I watched, the story took on a life of its own.

Cigars and
...more
Tina
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, christmas
My understanding is this is a British Christmas classic. I've been reading it to my children for several years now at Christmas time. It's such a delightful story and so beautifully told. If you want to re-live the nostalgic Christmas past I highly recommend you read this short story.
B. P. Rinehart
From December 2013:
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.
...more
Tony
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So wonderful I read every line twice.

And then some.
Billy O'Callaghan
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Less a story than a series of snapshots that accumulate to present a funny, poignant and always nostalgic view of childhood Christmases, the joy is in the beautiful language, the magnificent imagery and the way that every sense is awakened.
“Years and years ago, when I was a boy, when there were wolves in Wales, and birds the color of red-flannel petticoats whisked past the harp-shaped hills, when we sang and wallowed all night and day in caves that smelt like Sunday afternoons in damp front farm
...more
Laysee
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Dylan Thomas is a Welsh poet known for his poem, "Do not go gently into that good night." I am thrilled to learn he has written a prose poem about Christmas. This tiny book described his experience of Christmas "years and years ago, when (he) was a boy" in Wales. It contained some truly lush and beautiful lines about snow and captured the nostalgia associated with Christmas at a time when life was relatively simpler.

If you love poetry, you will most certainly find this an enchanting treat. In Th
...more
Cody
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extra star added due to John Cale. Google it.

Knowing what I do of his adult life, I really hope Thomas experienced this close holiness.

All I ever got was the Licking of the Lard Spoon and Hell Awaits on repeat. Oh, and fucking Aerosmith tickets one year. I fucking HATE Aerosmith! Thanks for nothing, Ma!!!
Rowena
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Julie  Durnell
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: england-uk, christmas
A poetic novella of Christmas reminiscences as a young boy, beautifully written and exquisitely illustrated. The illustrations really lift this above the ordinary cute holiday tale.
Haaze
An evocation of a child's Christmas in Wales within the realm of memory. It is beautiful, warm, embracing, funny and seemingly filled with true glimpses of Dylan Thomas' childhood. It is short, but very rich and flows with rivers merging prose and poetry. Lovely! Highly recommended! Dylan Thomas reads his own story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv4-s...

5/5

Abigail
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dylan Thomas Fans / Those Looking for Nostalgic Reexaminations of Childhood
"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 was six. 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 t ...more
Nathaniel
Mar 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Judy
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
Sandy
Delightful. Dylan Thomas is amazing to listen to. A feast for the senses.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus
  • Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas
  • The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story
  • The Story of Holly and Ivy
  • The Birds' Christmas Carol
  • Christmas in Noisy Village
  • Christmas Day in the Morning
  • Red and Lulu
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas (Toot & Puddle)
  • The Christmas Day Kitten
  • The Jolly Christmas Postman
  • The Night Before Christmas
  • A Pirate's Night Before Christmas
  • Mi Amigo El Pintor
  • The Birds of Bethlehem
  • Great Joy
  • The Box of Delights
  • A Family Christmas
See similar books…
965 followers
Dylan Marlais Thomas was a Welsh poet who wrote in English. Many regard him as one of the 20th century's most influential poets.

In addition to poetry, Thomas 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 li
...more
“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.” 87 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?” 46 likes
More quotes…