The Amazing Christmas Extravaganza

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This year, the Merriweather family is really going to celebrate Christmas.Instead of simply trimming their tree and hanging a holly on the door, the Merriweathers decide to decorate their whole house. And decorate they do, with colored lights, candy canes, giant snowmen, and a fifty-foot Santa...and soon the family's Christmas extravaganza is the talk of the town! Award-winning artist David Shannon presents a visual holiday feast-and reminds us that the real joys of Christmas ...
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Overview

This year, the Merriweather family is really going to celebrate Christmas.Instead of simply trimming their tree and hanging a holly on the door, the Merriweathers decide to decorate their whole house. And decorate they do, with colored lights, candy canes, giant snowmen, and a fifty-foot Santa...and soon the family's Christmas extravaganza is the talk of the town! Award-winning artist David Shannon presents a visual holiday feast-and reminds us that the real joys of Christmas are the people we love.

Much to the dismay of his neighbors and family, Mr. Merriweather's Christmas display grows from a simple string of white lights into an outrageous spectacle.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
This book provides a vision of holiday observance gone wild. When Mr. Merriweather places a small string of lights around his front door to celebrate the season, his neighbor Mr. Clack mocks the paltry show of lights, for he's "got seventeen strings of lights and they blink on and off!" Merriweather takes this as a direct challenge, and before long his lawn is planted with overgrown candy canes, gigantic snowmen and a monstrous Santa. There are countless elves, lights, and toy soldiers perched atop his bushes and roof. His neighbors, infuriated by the lights and tourists, gather a Christmas vigilante crew armed with croquet mallets and golf clubs to "slash, bash and trash" everything in sight. In the light of day, his ashamed neighbors apologize and attempt to make amends, but Merriweather, no longer blinded by the holiday lights, has found something he lost while decking his halls--the joy of being with his family and the anticipation of Easter's arrival.
Stephanie Zvirin
Like the illustrations in "How Georgie Radburn Saved Baseball" (1994), the pictures in this modern-day holiday parable are sturdy and filled with realistically executed details, and the principal characters appear larger than life: nice, apple-cheeked Mr. Merriweather and very scary-looking Mr. Clack, whose chiding sets Mr. Merriweather on a frenzy of holiday house decorating that causes him to alienate his neighbors, forget his devoted family, and lose sight of Christmas. This is no sentimental Christmas yarn despite the final message. In fact, there's a biting edge, as neighbors form a vicious mob and rip down Merriweather's twinkling displays. All ends on a note of comedy and camaraderie, however, with Mr. Merriweather finally able to put Christmas in perspective--and get on to preparations for Easter. The setup (and the comedy) has an adult feel, and a double-page sideways spread stops the smooth flow of the story, but the brilliant colors, depth, and meticulous details of the artwork will be enough to attract plenty of older children.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590480901
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/1995
  • Series: Fiction Picture Book Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD510L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

David Shannon
David Shannon
David Shannon wasn't long in establishing himself as a successful illustrator for both adults and children; but it wasn't until he began drawing like a five-year-old that he really got noticed. His award-winning No, David! is a funny, mischievous look at kid peccadilloes.
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    1. Hometown:
      Los Angeles, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 5, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Washington, D. C. (Raised in Spokane, Washington)
    1. Education:
      B.A., Art Center College of Design

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2002

    Nice picture book for a festive time of the year

    Overall, this is a very nice christmas picture book. The story may be a little long for the YOUNGEST family members, but the pictures and story itself are enjoyable and fun.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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