A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
A collection of Christmas stories, poems, carols, plays, Biblical excerpts, and information, lavishly illustrated in styles from different historical periods. A good introduction to a wide variety of holiday literature, but many of the excerpts and abridgements will send readers hunting for the originals.
Is it any good?
This is a high-quality edition with lots of content and beautiful pictures. It's a fine choice for families looking for a coffee-table book with a variety of holiday material or for those who don't want a large Christmas library. The selections are good, if unsurprising (with the delightful exception of the excerpt from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever): The carols are classics, and the stories are mostly familiar. The selection of poems is weaker, though there are a few standouts, such as Langston Hughes' Carol of the Brown King.
The information in the introductions is often fascinating. Gannady Spirin's paintings and decorations are often glorious. Ranging in style from medieval-church frescoes and Persian miniatures to 19th-century illustrations, they draw the eye and reward close inspection.