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An enduring classic. A perfect Christmas gift by one of the UK's most well-known writers and featuring illustrations by an award-winning illustrator.
Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea in October 1914, the son of a senior English master. On leaving school he worked on the South Wales Evening Post before embarking on his literary career in London. Not only a poet, he wrote short stories, film scripts, features and radio plays, the most famous being Under Milk Wood. He died in November 1953, shortly after his thirty-ninth birthday. He is buried in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, which had become his main home since 1949. Edward Ardizzone was born October 16, 1900 in Haiphong, French Indochina (now Vietnam) and moved to England when he was five years old. He wrote and illustrated the story of Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain for his own children; Oxford University Press published it in 1935 with great success. This book led to several more in the popular "Tim" series. Ardizzone won the first Kate Greenaway Medal in 1956 for Tim All Alone and was named Commander, Order of British Empire in 1971. He died in 1979.
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.
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.
"December, in my memory, is as white as Lapland," Thomas recalls, reading a line from "A Child's Christmas in Wales." For the poet, December also bursts with "deadly snowballs," "blue knuckles" and snow that "grows overnight on the roofs of houses." Although phrases like these are beautiful on their own, hearing Thomas speak them adds a magnificent melancholy. He recorded these six pieces in New York City in 1952, and they've been remastered and collected into one wonderful package. In the title story, Thomas marvels at winter's quirky delights: presents and holiday sweets (including candy cigarettes), snow boots and footprints, aunts who lace their tea with rum, wind rustling through the trees, family music recitals and caroling (Thomas even sings a line or two of Good King Wenceslas). His Welsh-accented voice rises and falls as he reads the evocative tale of his own long-ago Christmas. Thomas performs the other selections-"Fern Hill," "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night," "In the White Giant's Thigh," "Ballad of the Long-Legged Bait" and "Ceremony After a Fire Raid"-with an equally vibrant and powerful voice. While they don't conjure up the same wintry images as the lead piece, they marvelously round out this lovely assemblage. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.