A Christmas Memory

Common Sense Media says

This tale deserves to be shared every holiday.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The old woman teaches the importance of giving, and the characters go to great lengths to make their gifts.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that a child drinks a little whiskey and lives with an assortment of relatives instead of with his parents. Otherwise there is nothing to be concerned about, and much to be enjoyed.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Truman Capote recalls a Christmas past, when he was 7 years old and living with an assortment of relatives. One, a 60ish, rather childlike distant cousin, is his best, and only, friend, as he is hers. Each year they save up money to buy the ingredients they can't gather for free to make 30 fruitcakes, which they send mostly to strangers they admire.

Capote relates in some detail their four-day extravaganza of gathering, preparing, and baking, and the homely way they spend the holidays together. Includes a CD of Celeste Holm reading the story.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This new 50th-anniversary edition of Truman Capote's delightful, poignant, and now classic story could not be more perfectly suited to the text. The delicate watercolor illustrations, taken from a 1989 edition, capture the understated gentleness of the story, while on the accompanying CD Celeste Holm reads the text in a warm, grandmotherly voice with a slight Southern lilt and a humorous enthusiasm.

A CHRISTMAS MEMORY, more vignette than story, captures with great gentleness and fascinating detail a distant time of wood-burning stoves, chamber pots, open fields, and a slower pace. For today's children this is a glimpse of a world that is almost beyond imagination, and more compelling than fantasy. It is a sleepy book to be shared between adult and child. This is one of those stories they'll ask for every year, and you'll be glad to bring it out again and, curling up with a child you love, take a trip to a time long gone.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the unusual friendship. Why do Buddy and his elderly cousin have such a close friendship? Why do the adults treat her the way they do? Your children may want to make fruitcake for their friends after reading it.

Book details

Author:Truman Capote
Illustrator:Beth Peck
Genre:Autobiography
Book type:Non-Fiction
Publisher:Alfred A. Knopf
Publication date:December 31, 1969
Number of pages:48
Publisher's recommended age(s):12
Read aloud:7
Read alone:8

This review of A Christmas Memory was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written byhkgraham September 30, 2009
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 9 year old Written byMs. Penny December 10, 2009
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Very touching, with a sweet message about love.

Great movie! I watch it every Christmas, with or without kids!
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byi<3xxx November 13, 2011
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

my unprofessional review

its very very boring
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Common Sense Kids Action