27 Dec 2012

CHRISTMAS SPIRIT READING CHALLENGE: VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS LEVEL.

Having read (and reviewed) 4 books (THE CHARM BRACELET, A LAWMAN'S CHRISTMAS, THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY, SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS) for this year's ...... 


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I've completed the Mistletoe level and now its onto my reviews of the 3 children's books read for the Visions Of Sugar Plums level, the first two of which I'm sure many of you will know, the last one, perhaps not.


The ghastly Grinch refuses to be moved by the Christmas spirit in this must-have paperback version of Dr Seuss's classic tale.

When he spies the citizens of Who-ville enjoying their Christmas preparations, the Grinch comes down from his cave and makes a dastardly attempt to take all the joy out of the occasion by actually stealing Christmas.
..... Amazon book description.

FIRST SENTENCE VERSE: Every Who
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot ...
But the Grinch,
Who lived just north of Who-ville,
Did NOT!

MEMORABLE MOMENT: Then he stuffed all the food up the chimney with glee.
"And NOW!" grinned the Grinch. "I will stuff up the tree!"

MY THOUGHTS: Though I only came across these books as an adult when I read them to our niece and nephew (now 22 and 19) I'm a big fan of Dr Seuss BUT, highly readable as this one may be, I have to admit it isn't one of my favourites.

Written in rhyme as are all his books, How the Grinch Stole Christmas can be read on many levels. Seemingly a simple story, ultimately this is a deeply yet subtle moral story with a powerful message to tell.

Not just a book for Christmas, with its anti commercialism message the book could apply just as well to Easter.
  


'Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse ..... 

So begins this famous poem, written by Clement C. Moore over a hundred and fifty years years ago and still the best-loved of all Christmas rhymes.
...... Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE VERSE: 'Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse ..... 

MEMORABLE MOMENT: But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

MY THOUGHTS: Loved by generations of the young and not so young, I read this to our Great-nephew (almost 2) for the first time this year. Enjoyed by us both, it was a joy to watch his face light up as I read this timeless Christmas classic with its wonderfully eye-catching illustrations by the obviously talented Lis Toft.


Tom, like all the other children in the world, sent Santa a letter with his Christmas wants: roller skates and a paint box. But this year everything began to go wrong. First of all Santa was held up by customs. Then his sleigh was given a parking ticket. And to cap it all, Santa's ninth reindeer, the famous red-nosed Rudolph, disappeared.

Tom had forgotten to write his address on his letter. Usually Rudolph sorted out that kind of problem, but tonight he was missing. Would Santa be able to find Tom's chimney before Christmas day dawned.
...... Inner front cover.

FIRST SENTENCE VERSE: Snow lay deep and crisp and even 
(Just like in the song?)
As Tom came trudging up the path
Which led to Santa's home.
On tiptoe, he stretched out a hand
To drop his letter in:
"Dear Santa, I'd like roller skates
And a paintbox made of tin."

MEMORABLE MOMENT: This year the elves built something new. 
To speed up Santa's rounds: 
A supersonic supersleigh
To beat the speed of sound.
They'd worked so hard to finish it
In time for Christmas Eve,
But though it sparkled and it shone,
The ground it would not leave.

MY THOUGHTS: Though not as well known (and certainly not as charming) as The Night Before Christmas, to me, Once Upon A Time is every bit as good and even more funny.

A much more up to date story of Santa's exploits on Christmas Eve, this is probably more suited to slightly older readers and, I suspect, may well appeal more to boys.

Also read to our Great-nephew, he seemed to be more enthralled by the words of A Night Before Christmas whilst appearing to enjoy the illustrations of this one more.

KEEP THEM OR NOT?: Re-read many times, all three book will remain on the shelves.



11 comments:

Mary (Bookfan) said...

How sweet you were able to enjoy them with your Great-nephew. I'm not familiar with Once Upon a Christmas so I'm going to put it on my list.

GMR said...

Lovely reviews Tracy! The first two are certainly old favorites for me, but the third I've never heard of! It does sound delightful though...must seek it out for next holiday season. Thanks for the share...and happy holidays! ^_^

naida said...

Great review, how nice that you were able to read some with your Great-nephew.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a favorite.
You did great with the reading challenge.

Joan Robertson said...

hiya,good review of the grinch, thankyou, I saw the film a while ago when it came out,I'm currently reading The Stupidest Angel, after you reviewed it, i ordered it and its about time I got round to reading it ,

Alexia561 said...

Enjoyed your reviews! Surprised to realize I've never actually read The Grinch, but have watched the cartoon many, many times. Not familiar with Once Upon a Christmas, but love the idea of Santa being held up at Customs! Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Kelly said...

Although I love many Dr. Seuss books, the Grinch and the Cat in the Hat are among my least favorites. I'm glad to know I'm not alone!

I do love The Night Before Christmas and never tire of reading it.

Suko said...

The perfect reading challenge for the holidays (duh)! I enjoyed your reviews and have read all but the last book. I'm glad these are keepers. Have a very happy New Year!

carol said...

I love the Grinch! I haven't read it yet this season, though.

fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

Just a quick note to wish you a Very Happy New Year and a wish that your Christmas was a good one.

Today is my first day at the PC, as we have been on holiday in Florida for most of December.

I have to say that I didn't read a single word whilst I was away, which is a worrying sign, so I am just hoping that when the dust settles and the jet lag disappears, I am going to get my reading mojo back!!

We have enoyed many of the traditional Christmas stories 'done Disney style', over the last few weeks, so I can fully appreciate and enjoy your lovely post.

Yvonne

Mama Zen said...

I've never heard of that last one. I'll have to check that one out.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I must read Once Upon a Christmas. I have never heard of it before! I enjoy The Grinch and The Night Before Christmas. So glad you get to enjoy these holiday boooks with the kids in your life. I could picture your nephew's excitement.