The Smallest Gift of Christmas

( 1 )

Overview

In Peter H. Reynolds’s whimsical holiday story, young Roland learns that more isn’t always better — and rediscovers the magic of home.

Roland can’t wait for Christmas Day, and when the morning finally arrives he races downstairs to see what is waiting for him. What he sees stops him in his tracks. Could that tiny present really be what he had waited all year for? It has to be the smallest gift he had ever seen! So Roland wishes for something bigger . . . and bigger . . . and ...

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Overview

In Peter H. Reynolds’s whimsical holiday story, young Roland learns that more isn’t always better — and rediscovers the magic of home.

Roland can’t wait for Christmas Day, and when the morning finally arrives he races downstairs to see what is waiting for him. What he sees stops him in his tracks. Could that tiny present really be what he had waited all year for? It has to be the smallest gift he had ever seen! So Roland wishes for something bigger . . . and bigger . . . and bigger. But he’s still convinced there must be a bigger gift somewhere in the universe. Will he know it when he sees it? Peter H. Reynolds’s spare, free-spirited illustrations and heartwarming text make this be-carefulwhat-you-wish-for story the perfect holiday gift.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/16/2013
A boy with grand holiday expectations discovers that size is relative when it comes to gifts. Roland’s Christmas-morning anticipation quickly turns to frustration when he spies “the smallest gift he had ever seen” waiting for him under the tree. He promptly makes a series of wishes, “as hard as he could,” for something bigger—and a parade of increasingly larger presents appears. His quest for a gift of truly worthy heft leads him into outer space, where he gains a new appreciation for the faraway, tiny Earth—his home. Roland’s red polka-dot pajamas are among the splashes of holiday color in the spirited vignettes that playfully accent ample white space and Reynolds’s brief, hand-lettered text. Ages 3–7. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
A lovely story about the perfect holiday gift: family.
—The Huffington Post

A small book with a big heart.
—USA Today

Children's Literature - Leona Illig
Roland is a little boy with high hopes at Christmas. He expects a big Christmas present, but on Christmas morning when he finds only a small one, he is disappointed. He decides to wish for a bigger one, and, amazingly, a bigger one appears. But Roland is still not satisfied. He keeps wishing for bigger and bigger presents--but none are big enough. Finally, he launches himself into outer space to find the ultimate huge gift. But when, way out in outer space, he does find the present that means the most to him, it turns out to be a tiny speck in his telescope: earth. This charming story teaches that while size does not always matter, value does, and value can come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Not only that, both size and value are often in the eye of the beholder. While there are plenty of morals in this story, they are not presented in a didactic manner; instead, the imaginative plot leads the reader to the right conclusions in a thoughtful, logical way. The high-quality illustrations are a pleasure to look at: humorous, and rendered in bright, deep colors using red and green as the main focus. The production value of the book is also high. Hidden by the book jacket, and impressed into the cover, is a tiny illustration of a present. Parents and children will not want to overlook this very fine touch to what is ultimately a charming Christmas story. Reviewer: Leona Illig AGERANGE: Ages 4 to 7.
School Library Journal
10/01/2013
PreS-Gr 2—On Christmas Day, an indignant Roland is less than impressed with the size of his Christmas gift and wishes for something bigger. And while wishing sort of works, much to Roland's frustration, the gifts are never big enough. A journey for a truly huge present takes him on an adventure through town and into a rocket blasting off to space. Orbiting Earth, Roland realizes that the best gift, the perfectly sized gift, is back home. The use of bold red and green against a background of otherwise subdued colors makes a scowling Roland in polka-dot pajamas and his increasingly larger gifts pop off the page. This story of "good things come in small packages" and the value of family is a welcome offering.—Brooke Sheets, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-01
Roland is disappointed by the size of his tiny, red package on Christmas morning, but he learns that bigger is not always better. When Roland wishes for a bigger present, his package is magically replaced with a larger one. But it's not big enough for Roland. He wishes again and gets an even bigger box, the pattern repeating until Roland's gift is a big as a house, then as big as a skyscraper. Still not big enough. Roland angrily takes off in a spaceship to "search the universe" for a gift that's big enough to satisfy him. As the spaceship gets farther and farther away, he gradually has a change of heart. Roland realizes that the tiny dot of Earth, with his own home and family, is the gift he wants most of all. The touching conclusion shows Roland at home on the sofa with his family--the only gift he needs. Hand-lettered text and sophisticated, cartoon-style illustrations give the story the look of one for older children or even adults, but the theme will be easily understood by younger children. The message is skillfully and subtly conveyed, and though the lesson could be heavy-handed in less sure hands, readers will be both entertained and satisfied by Roland's progression from greedy glutton to grateful son. A warmhearted, whimsical story with a folkloric feel and a theme that is anything but small. (Picture book. 4-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763661038
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/24/2013
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 662,439
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter H. Reynolds is a New York Times best-selling illustrator who has created many acclaimed books for children. In addition to his Creatrilogy — The Dot, Ish, and Sky Color — he is the author-illustrator of Rose’s Garden, The North Star, and So Few of Me and the illustrator of Megan McDonald’s Judy Moody and Stink series. Born in Canada, Peter H. Reynolds now lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 18, 2013

    CUTEST BOOK THIS SEASON! Ronald, like any child, is excited for

    CUTEST BOOK THIS SEASON!

    Ronald, like any child, is excited for Christmas morning~
    But, when he saw his tiny gift he was NOT happy!
    So...
    He closed his eyes and wished for a bigger gift.

    And do you know what?
    When he opened his eyes there is was...a bigger gift!
    If he closed his eyes again could he wish for an even BIGGER gift?

    Go with Ronald as his gifts get bigger and bigger...
    And he has to go outside and even into the sky to find his biggest gift...
    The one that turns out to be a tiny gift after all.

    FUN, FUN PICTURES!
    ADORABLE STORY!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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