On Christmas Eve

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1994 Hard cover MINI ed. New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. Audience: Children/juvenile.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``This book is dedicated to chimneyless children everywhere,'' reads this book's copyright page--the only words in the entire, captivating story. Collington ( Little Pickle ; The Angel and the Soldier Boy ) has chosen instead to illustrate his fanciful twist on a familiar tale with 140 pictures--each delightful on its own, and positively enchanting in sum. Having penned her letter to Santa, a girl goes to sleep on Christmas Eve--and the magic begins. A tiny fairy confiscates the letter and, finding the door key, admits a band of her winged colleagues. Using candles from the tree, they form a radiant runway for a grizzled St. Nick, who enters via the front door and ascends a candle-lit staircase. As the fairy leader checks off the items, Santa diligently unpacks the requested presents and then trudges off into gently falling snow. The muted tones and intricately lined figures imbue this holiday fantasy with a comforting, old-fashioned flavor. Like the exhausted fairy, seen in the final painting sprawled in an armchair in her tree-trunk aerie, children will believe that this holiday mission has been splendidly performed--ditto Collington's accomplishment. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Colored-pencil drawings in muted shades tell this wordless story of a little girl whose Christmas is aided by fairies as well as by Santa Claus. The dedication ``to chimneyless children everywhere'' justifies the helping fairies , but readers don't see that the house lacks a chimney until well into the story. A fairy tucks the girl's letter to Santa in her belt and opens the outside door to other fairies who borrow candles to light the way for Santa's sleigh to land. At the girl's bedside, Santa nearly blows his cover when he drops a gift and the sleeping girl awakes to enjoy her presents by herself, an act that some children may find very curious. While this story lacks the poignancy and excitement of Raymond Briggs' wordless classic, The Snowman (Random, 1986), it has its own quiet charm, especially for little girls who will admire the fairy's bridelike dress and the cozy tree cottage to which she returns at the story's end.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679867258
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/20/1994
  • Pages: 32
  • Product dimensions: 3.98 (w) x 4.94 (h) x 0.34 (d)

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