A Child's Christmas in Wales

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
A Child's Christmas in Wales Book Poster Image
Gorgeous holiday treasure for school-age kids.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is nothing objectionable here, and that it is a true secular holiday treasure, too little known.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

What's the story?

A memory of Christmas celebrations long ago in Wales. The narrator relates them to a small boy who peppers him with questions and directs the telling to the subjects, such as The Useless Presents, which interest him most. There is no story, as such, just vignettes and memories of presents, relatives, neighbors, minor adventures, walks with friends, meals, postmen, and more. Impossible to capture in a summary, the events in this prose-poem will be both familiar and yet delightfully far away to today's children.

Is it any good?

There are two great pleasures here. The first is the lyrical, musical, reverberating language. Dylan Thomas, one of the greatest of the English-language poets, writes in a prose style that highlights the pleasure of words, words, glorious words, phrases that fill the mouth and the mind, and images that, like soap bubbles, amuse, delight, then disappear as the next one arrives. Children too seldom have the opportunity to hear the power of the English language in the hands of a great master, and in a form that is meant for them, that doesn't leave them behind, but catches them up and carries them along.

The second pleasure lies in the images of holiday celebrations long ago: the details, at once alien and yet oddly familiar and recognizable; the humor and warmth of family and friends; and the vividness of the little set pieces that lodge immediately in the mind and memory. Simple, lyrical, poignant, uplifting -- this is a true holiday rarity, one that shouldn't be missed.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the differences between the holiday celebrations long ago in Wales remembered here, and their own ways of marking the season. Also, Dylan Thomas' gorgeous prose-poetry should be noted.

Book details

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate