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A Child's Christmas in Wales [Audio]
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Poet Thomas's beloved remembrance of his childhood holidays marks its 50th anniversary with a slate of jazzy new mixed-media paintings. Shaking things up for traditionalists, Raschka delivers an interpretation via stylized images about as far from typical cold, snowy Wales as one can get. Using a consistently sturdy black line the artist emphasizes warm family scenes with golden hues and some rich, spicy color. He renders outdoor settings-yes, the seaside and snow are still here-in appropriately cool, icy blue tones. Evocative of Thomas's era in its own way, Raschka reimagines the classic for a new audience. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Thomas's Christmas classic takes a back seat only to Dickens's story about the old tightwad who learns the error of his ways overnight. This charming edition is roughly 5.25" square and features a number of woodcut illustrations by Ellen Raskin. This beauty would be perfect to include in a display for the holidays (they'll be here before you know it). Buy a bunch of them. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Gr 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. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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