The Spirit of Christmas

( 38 )

Overview

Bells jingle, sleds dash through the snow, trees are topped with sparkling stars, and children everywhere dream of candy canes and presents. But the best gift of all—the most magical gift of the season—is when we spend Christmas with those we love.

Once again, this New York Times-bestselling author and artist has created a special, beautiful book that families will want to share year after year. (And readers will want to look for the Spirit of ...

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Overview

Bells jingle, sleds dash through the snow, trees are topped with sparkling stars, and children everywhere dream of candy canes and presents. But the best gift of all—the most magical gift of the season—is when we spend Christmas with those we love.

Once again, this New York Times-bestselling author and artist has created a special, beautiful book that families will want to share year after year. (And readers will want to look for the Spirit of Christmas image that Nancy has hidden on every page!)

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  • The Spirit of Christmas
    The Spirit of Christmas  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for The Spirit of Christmas:

"Tillman (On the Night You Were Born) expertly swirls together reality and fantasy—the narrator's child delights in the sight of the decorated tree, the lion lies down with the lamb—as is fitting for such a magical night."—Shelf-Awareness

“Handsomely illustrated, this Christmas book is bound to be hyped as the perfect seasonal gift. …Tillman’s sentimental sensibility and beautiful artwork ensure that this will become a popular choice at holiday time.”—Booklist

“A beautiful and timeless book.”—School Library Journal

“As the adult speaker of the story nods off in a comfy red chair, the Spirit of Christmas appears, ready to get the narrator in the holiday spirit. What follows is a buoyant, imagistic tribute to the season, as the Spirit lists joys both and intangible, before offering the reminder: ‘Because it took nothing but love to begin it,/ it's not really Christmas if love isn't in it.’ Tillman's ethereal illustrations are surreal but captivating.”—Publishers Weekly

“Bestselling author Tillman offers a dreamlike interpretation of the collective spirit that permeates the holiday.”—Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Nancy Tillman:

“As in On the Night You Were Born, the words directly address a young listener with comforting, fanciful imagery . . . Culminating in a final scene of a sleeping child in a floating bed under a watchful moon, this gentle, tender offering will buoy children with its strong messages of safety and love.”—Booklist, for It’s Time to Sleep, My Love

“A luxuriant bedtime retreat for children and parents alike.”—Kirkus Reviews, for It’s Time to Sleep, My Love

Praise for On the Night You Were Born:

“This is one of those rare baby books that should make both skeptics and sentimentalists of all ages happy.”—Publishers Weekly, for On the Night You Were Born

“A beautiful tribute to the uniqueness of every child.”—Kirkus Reviews, for On the Night You Were Born

“Many parents will welcome this opportunity to tell their children how special and loved they are.”—Booklist, for On the Night You Were Born

Publishers Weekly
As the adult speaker of the story nods off in a comfy red chair, the Spirit of Christmas appears, ready to get the narrator in the holiday spirit. What follows is a buoyant, imagistic tribute to the season, as the Spirit lists joys both concrete (“A toy soldier band dressed in matching red sashes!”) and intangible, before offering the reminder: “Because it took nothing but love to begin it,/ it's not really Christmas if love isn't in it.” Tillman's ethereal illustrations (a frozen tree, dotted with peppermints; the cast of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” beside a river) are surreal but captivating. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
In rhymed verse the search for that special something missing in Christmas preparation leads beyond decorations, sleigh bells, a band with red sashes, candy, and caroling. There are gentle things, and silent snow, paths to Grandma's house, lords a leaping, and Santa Claus. The answer is that Christmas "began with a child. Because it took nothing but love to begin it, it's not really Christmas if love isn't in it." The missing ingredient is "you" beneath the Christmas tree. This text is followed by a silhouette of a mother and baby and snow scene of an adult and child ice-skating. Caroling is illustrated by a howling pack of wolves with a bar of "We wish you a Merry Christmas" overhead. A regal lion with a lamb and a white dove are shown for the gentle things. In various pictures a child pulls a sled, makes a snow angel, and throws a snowball. The wonderful colored illustrations convey a sense of joy and peace. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4–“I had just nodded off,/at a quarter past four,/when the Spirit of Christmas/stepped in through my door.” So begins this lovely story in which all the delights of the season are presented. Realism and fantasy are satisfyingly paired to bring the mixed-media illustrations of treasured holiday scenes to life. Many of the paintings include bits of lyrics and music from well-known carols. The message is sweet; no matter how fancy one’s decorations, no matter how elaborate one’s feast, or how many pretty packages wait beneath the tree, “It is love that makes the angels sing.” A beautiful and timeless book.–Linda Israelson, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Bestselling author Tillman offers a dreamlike interpretation of the collective spirit that permeates the holiday. The first-person rhyming text shows the narrator (the author herself?) dozing off just as the personified Spirit enters the room. The following illustrations and text create a magical atmosphere, with a sleigh splashing through water, peppermints growing on trees and wolves howling a Christmas carol. A page representing peace shows a lion lying down with a lamb with a dove overhead, and another page shows a flock of sheep under the Christmas star with a textual reference to the baby of the season. This mysterious approach concludes with the narrator's child viewing the Christmas tree, which to her is the best part of Christmas. The illustrations have an appealing, surrealistic quality, but the caliber of the text is uneven. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312549657
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 104,736
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Tillman is the author and illustrator of the New York Times best-selling picture book On the Night You Were Born and its companion journal, The Wonder of You: A Book for Celebrating Baby's First Year. Her other books include Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You and Tumford the Terrible. A former advertising executive, Tillman now writes and illustrates full-time. She lives in Tualatin, Oregon.

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Read an Excerpt

I had just nodded off,

at a quarter past four,

when the Spirit of Christmas

stepped in through my door.

With a great show of sparkles,

he decked all my halls in tinsel and

twinkles and bright, shining balls...

I was really quite fond

of the trimmings he'd brought.

"But there's just something missing

this Christmas," I thought.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 9, 2010

    Should become a classic

    I picked this up because the front cover was so pretty and I was looking for a book that would help me explain Christmas to my 2 year old daughter. The story doesn't really get in to Santa or the Nativity, I bought other books for that, but talked more about the feelings you have at Christmas and the importance of being with loved ones. As I read it to my 2 year old, I realized that I could have just as easily read it to my 29 year old daughter who no longer lives at home. Out of the many books I bought about Christmas this one is my favorite, it is a beautiful book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Christmas story

    I received this book as a gift for Christmas, and immediately ordered some for gifts. It is a truly heartwarming story that will bring tears to the eyes of a mother. The illustrations and beautiful and it is fun to share with your loved ones

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 2, 2009

    Beautiful Gift

    This book is another blessing from the immensely talented Ms. Tillman. It makes a great gift, with its rich delicious colors, characters and a story that brings warmth to the soul on even the coldest night. Despite the whimsical charm of a classic children's picture book, this one is for the whole family. In an age of iPods and Wii's, this book offers a chance to get back to the basics of what the holidays are all about.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    As good as all of Ms Tillmans' books.

    Nancy Tillmans' books always bring a tear to my eye. I buy them for shower gifts and then send them to my grown children to pass on.

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  • Posted July 27, 2013

    The Spirit of Christmas was another Kohl's Cares find. I'll try

    The Spirit of Christmas was another Kohl's Cares find. I'll try not to gush, but I do love the Kohl's Cares program. This book came with an adorable plush lion, which represents the most striking illustration in this book. All of the artwork is truly beautiful, but the double pages containing the lion, lamb and dove and arresting in their simplicity and beauty.
    The words for the book again came from a song, so they again read like a poem. The words are fine, and at time quite good; however this book with a lesser artist would not have worked nearly as well.

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  • Posted November 28, 2011

    This is nice, but...

    The text was like a modern "Night Before Christmas" poem, and the illustrations were colorful, but it just didn't ring the bells for me. Kind of squeaked of political correctness. Seemed a little distant and impersonal.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Another Winner

    Nancy Tillman has produced another winner. This book tugs at the heart strings because it says"I will love you forever".

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  • Posted December 8, 2009

    The Perfect Christmas Gift!

    The Spirit of Christmas is a beautifully written tribute to the real meaning of Christmas. I picked it up in the store and was so taken with the story and the illustrations that I decided to purchase a copy for each of the three children for whom I was buying holiday gifts. I am certain that they will want to read it or have it read to them over and over again!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted November 29, 2009

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    Posted November 29, 2009

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    Posted November 30, 2009

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    Posted September 29, 2009

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    Posted December 27, 2010

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    Posted December 4, 2009

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    Posted October 2, 2009

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    Posted November 29, 2009

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    Posted October 23, 2009

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