Christmas Magic

Christmas Magic

5.0 3
by Michael Garland

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When lonely Emily tiptoes out of bed on Christmas Eve, she witnesses wild holiday enchantment in action-her cat and dog have learned how to sing "Jingle Bells," a rowdy crowd of mice are baking pies in the kitchen, and the snow-woman Emily built earlier in the day to keep her company has come to life! The best magic of all, however, is in Emily's brand-new


When lonely Emily tiptoes out of bed on Christmas Eve, she witnesses wild holiday enchantment in action-her cat and dog have learned how to sing "Jingle Bells," a rowdy crowd of mice are baking pies in the kitchen, and the snow-woman Emily built earlier in the day to keep her company has come to life! The best magic of all, however, is in Emily's brand-new friendship with the shy boy next door, which begins when they realize that they alone have witnessed the fantastical late-night happenings.

Michael Garland's stunning illustrations are showcased in the ornate Victorian setting of Emily's home and neighborhood. Infused with warmth and mysterious action, this book is a gentle, joyful reminder that no matter what else the holiday brings, love and friendship hold the true magic of Christmas.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Magical merriment breaks out at Emily's house on Christmas Eve, when she sneaks out of bed to discover singing pets, a chorus line of stockings and a snowman and snowwoman dancing on the front lawn. The story line is a bit of fluff, but the real point here is Garland's (The Mouse Before Christmas) artwork. Exterior scenes fare best (notably a lilac sunrise seen through a stand of skeletal trees) while the interiors, with their surreal juxtaposition of objects and oddly flattened perspectives, are not as compelling. Ages 3-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Emily experiences the magic on Christmas Eve, as strange and wonderful things happen. During the day, she has made a special snow-woman, while a shy new neighbor has built a snowman of his own. Unable to sleep, she finds her cat and dog downstairs singing "Jingle Bells," mice baking pies in the kitchen, Christmas decorations dancing about; but the biggest miracle is that her snow-woman and the snowman invite her to dance with them. In the morning, the proof of her night's adventure is the two snow-people smiling together as her amazed neighbor comes to greet her. The sentimental thrust of this modern fairy tale is reinforced by scenes filled with all the details of the season, from the snow and the tree to the stockings on the mantel. The characters seem almost three-dimensional while placed in two-dimensional scenes. Apple-cheeked Emily is appealing within her almost virtually real world. 2001, Dutton Children's Books/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, $16.99. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-On a Christmas Eve that seems especially magical, a little girl builds a snow-woman. During the night, she sees Katrina come to life and dance with the snowman next door, the stockings jump down from the mantel and form a chorus line, and mice bake pies. It could all have been a dream, but in the morning, the two snow people who started out in different yards are standing side-by-side. The illustrations of a Victorian household and a snowy night are stronger than the text, which has a somewhat contrived plot and flat prose.-V. W. GIBBONS, Gail. Christmas Is- illus. by author. unpaged. CIP. Holiday House. Oct. 2001. RTE $16.95. ISBN 0-8234-1582-1. LC 00-054686. PreS-Gr 2-A first introduction to Christmas that briefly explains the birth of Christ; some of the popular figures and symbols such as angels, Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus, Christmas trees, stockings, and gifts; and how the holiday is celebrated. Gibbons masterfully explains concepts simply, clearly, and in a visually appealing way. Her two to three sentences per topic (with the exception of Christ's birth) give just enough information to help youngsters understand the meaning of the season. The attractive watercolor cartoons and simple prose make this a perfect read-aloud for one-on-one sharing or a solid choice for newly independent readers.-M. W. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Enchantment is in the air as Emily builds a snowwoman in her yard, topping her off with an old coat, a carrot nose, a straw hat, and a fancy name-Katrina. Inside the house, the angel choir is in place on the table, the tree is decorated, the stockings are hung, and all is ready for Emily to be asleep . . . all except for Emily, that is. Wide awake, she peeks out into the yard and sees that her snowwoman has turned her head to look at the snowman built by the new boy next door. Then she runs to the hall to see her cat and dog dancing and the angel choir flying around. Mice in the kitchen baking, stockings dancing-what could be next? Nothing less than a wonderful scene where Katrina and her snowman come to life-a beautiful lady with her gallant gentleman and a moonlit dance in the falling snowflakes. As dawn breaks, her parents find Emily asleep in the chair and wonder at the strange dream she had. But there is no denying that the two snowpeople are now standing side by side, and that Emily and the new boy will be friends. Garland's (Last Night at the Zoo, not reviewed, etc.) telling of this imaginative story is somewhat flat, and the illustrations are also a mixed bag. While the beautiful outdoor illustrations show a stunning winter wonderland, many of the indoor scenes are punctuated by an odd mixture of drawings and cutouts. On Emily's comfy bed, a teddy bear sleeps on the pillow, but the cutout picture of the rigid Victorian doll is dropped in, and like many of the cut pictures, appears to be floating in air instead of resting on a surface. A nice enough story-but it's the mysterious happenings that "hold the true magic of Christmas"? Disappointing. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
10.31(w) x 11.12(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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Christmas Magic 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book will excite any child. My daughter and I read it over and over whether it is the holiday season or not. Wonderful illustrations that will hold the attention of even the youngest reader. Great book to read when you are tired of the traditional Night Before Christmas.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Michael Garland is an excellent illustrator and story teller. In Christmas Magic, he has brought a new and charming twist on a familiar theme, and has created magical images of pleasant memories and Christmas' of yesteryear. I highly reccomend this book.