Christmastime

Overview

A cozy, visually rich celebration of Christmas to pore over

Readers are off to the North Pole in this brimming holiday treat. On each page, a deceptively simple item—stocking, snowman, reindeer—pulls readers into a nostalgic, exquisitely detailed moment of the yuletide journey: a trip in Santa's sleigh, supper with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, watching the elves hard at work, and finally arriving home in time for Christmas morning.

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Overview

A cozy, visually rich celebration of Christmas to pore over

Readers are off to the North Pole in this brimming holiday treat. On each page, a deceptively simple item—stocking, snowman, reindeer—pulls readers into a nostalgic, exquisitely detailed moment of the yuletide journey: a trip in Santa's sleigh, supper with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, watching the elves hard at work, and finally arriving home in time for Christmas morning.

Secret clues, plus hidden allusions to classic Christmas carols, elevate this from a gorgeous book to an interactive holiday treasure hunt—a natural fit for the whole family at Christmastime.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In an album of crackle-varnish paintings that suggest a bygone era, Jay (The Cloud Spinner) catalogues images seen by two children on a fantastical Christmas Eve journey. While not a creature is stirring, a boy and girl tiptoe from bed to greet Santa and his reindeer out on the snowy lawn. They are soon dashing with their jolly chauffeur through the night sky to the North Pole, where they are welcomed by Mrs. Claus and the elves before an angel escorts them home. Each page features a softly lit scene inspired by an evocative word—“carolers,” “snowman,” “workshop.” Attentive readers can also try to find clues in the illustrations that link the pictures to favorite Christmas carols. Ages 2–6. Agent: The Organisation. (Nov.)
Booklist
"Carries with it the magic of Christmas: the unexpected, the warmth, the wonder.
Horn Book
"At first glance it's a simple Christmas vocabulary concept book...but Jay's jewel-toned, folk art-like paintings tell a different story (several intertwined ones, in fact) in this visually appealing volume."
Booklist (starred review)
"Carries with it the magic of Christmas: the unexpected, the warmth, the wonder."
School Library Journal
PreS-K—In this large, gorgeous picture book, Jay uses her signature primitive, crackle-varnish style to illustrate a variety of Christmas scenes. Each page contains a single word or phrase with no other description: "Christmas Eve," "mistletoe," "mittens," "candle," "holiday card," "stocking"… to "Christmas Day." A cat and dog and two children pop in and out of the pictures and readers discover at the end that icons from various Christmas songs have been included in the images. Thus they are encouraged to go back and find them… if they care to bother. The art is no doubt charming, but the story is very thin indeed.—Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Jay's signature style of painting with muted, antique colors and a crackled-varnish effect is showcased exquisitely in this deceptively simple tour de force filled with tiny, hidden surprises to delight inquisitive readers. The storyline sends a brother and sister pair creeping downstairs on Christmas Eve and venturing outside to meet Santa Claus. He whisks them off in his sleigh to the North Pole, where they sit down to supper with Mrs. Claus before touring the toy workshop. A Christmas angel flies the children back home, where the story ends on Christmas morning. Each page shows one view of a particular item or scene with just one or two words of description, and every illustration includes an element from the previous page and one from the following page. Sometimes these links are easy to spot, and sometimes difficult, such as Santa's shadow or the holly print on wrapping paper. Cleverly hidden with the illustrations are miniature vignettes or characters from 17 holiday songs, with a key to the locations on the final page. The Christmas season is full of magical surprises, and Jay's absorbing creation conveys that sense of magic, from the tiny sleeping mouse on the first page to the snowman peeking in the window on Christmas morning. (Picture book. 2-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803738041
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/8/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Alison Jay lives in London, England.

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