A Simply Wonderful Christmas: A Literary Advent Calendar

Overview

With twenty-four stories?"one for each night in December as we count down to Christmas?"this is a perfect book to share with the whole family. The stories are by turns humorous, touching, sad, and sentimental. Some stories tell of Christmas traditions from other countries and cultures that we may not be familiar with. For those, we have included a short piece explaining what that tradition is, where it comes from, and how it ties into our own customs. The lush illustrations from Austrian illustrator Silke Leffler...

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Overview

With twenty-four stories—"one for each night in December as we count down to Christmas—"this is a perfect book to share with the whole family. The stories are by turns humorous, touching, sad, and sentimental. Some stories tell of Christmas traditions from other countries and cultures that we may not be familiar with. For those, we have included a short piece explaining what that tradition is, where it comes from, and how it ties into our own customs. The lush illustrations from Austrian illustrator Silke Leffler are reminiscent of Zwerger at her best. Complete with a ribbon marker, this is a gift book to treasure for years to come.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A Simply Wonderful Christmas: A Literary Advent Calendar, illus. by Silke Leffler, brings together stories from two dozen authors, enough offerings for each day of December. A ribbon marker adds elegance, and illustrations of Santas, presents, reindeer and angels add dashes of both humor and gravitas. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Karen Leggett
This collection includes stories, essays, or poems for each day of December through Christmas Eve, with blank pages for readers to fill with their own memories, recipes, and photos. Originally published in the illustrator's home country where Silke Leffler has been honored for creating the "most beautiful books in Austria," this book has an old fashioned coffee table elegance with small decorations in the margins to complement the quiet spare paintings of snowmen, toys, and all sorts of Santas. Unfortunately, the stories do not live up to the quality of the illustrations. The layout has an adult feel because there is so much text on each large page. The stories are not compelling, often anti-climatic, and very frequently feature characters who are angry or grumbling about the people and events in their lives. Although some stories conclude with more hopeful attitudes, the constant negative thread can leave readers feeling dissatisfied and even more disillusioned than many of the characters.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-First published in Austria, this collection of 23 stories and one poem offers up small helpings of holiday spirit, one for each of the first 24 days of December. Each selection is a few pages long and deals with friendship and family, empathy and imagination-all good things to be thinking about in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Standouts include Sigrid Laube's "Kidnapping Saint Nick," in which a department-store Santa agrees to help two kids give a special treat to their ailing grandfather, and Andreas Schluter's "You Do Believe in Guinea Pigs, Don't You?," about a talking guinea pig with attitude who goads a child into creating just the right gift for her family. Leffler's watercolor illustrations, ranging from tiny decorative flourishes to full-page paintings, supply additional charm and whimsy. These stories could be used effectively in a classroom as a special holiday treat or to spark creative-writing projects. Several blank pages are included for readers to add their own holiday memories, making this a less-than-ideal choice for libraries, and references to modern technology will date some of the stories rather quickly, but the emotions are timeless.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735821002
  • Publisher: NorthSouth (NY)
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Pages: 133
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.54 (w) x 9.76 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Silke Leffler was born in Vorarlberg, Austria. She spent her childhood and youth in Holland, Austria, Germany, and different countries in Africa. She studied textile design and worked for a design studio in England. Today, she works as a designer for textile companies and as an illustrator. She has been awarded the Austrian Book Trade prize for the "most beautiful books of Austria" for her books for children and youth. This is her second book for North-South Books.

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