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This book does a wonderful job of explaining the history of Christmas traditions. It is simple and easy for young children to understand. It helps children understand how the past impacts our traditions today.
Great classic book by the wonderful Tomi di Paola. I use this in a classroom setting to compare and contrast Christmas long ago and Christmas today. Beautiful, charming illustrations. Love Tomi di Paola.
Reviewed in the United States on December 22, 2008
We love Tomie DePaola. My daughter (age 5) and I have read about 6 of his books. My step-daughter (now 17) introduced me when she was a girl with her copy of "The Knight and the Dragon". My favorites by this author are in the Strega Nona series but this was pretty good especially among holiday fare.
This book explains Christmas celebrations of a simpler and yet not simpler time. The family does everything from scratch - making candles, creche figures, cookies etc. Lots of hard work. But compared to today, the celebration itself was very simple. A good message for today's kids.
As the first German family in the village, the bring the traditions we associate with Christmas with them. The traditions catch on. What I love most is the explanation of making bayberry candles and how the bring prosperity in the new year. One year my brother-in-law of German descent gave us a bayberry candle to burn on New Years Day to bring prosperity. In the years since I've given many (I get handmade ones from Colonial Williamsburg). So this year I will send a copy of this book to his grandchildren (My grand-nephews).
I thought this was a winner. The book focuses on the difference one family made on the Christmas traditions in a New England Village. The family works tirelessly to decorate their house for the Christmas holidays. This culminates in a beautiful candle lit tree and windows on Christmas. The beautifully stylized illustrations show in simplistic detail the work that they do to celebrate the Holiday. This story captivated me and all of the children in my daughter's third grade class. I hope you have a chance to enjoy this one and get back to the basic joys of Christmas.