Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Books for Holiday Gift-giving
Wait a minute! How come we're not doing the play today?
We have a wardrobe malfunction. Namely, I can't find a costume for my next part. The play will continue tomorrow. We're going to talk about books to give as holiday presents instead.
The Writer collects editions of Clement C. Moore's The Night Before Christmas by different picture book artists. This year she found a beauty with cut-paper illustrations by Niroot Puttapipat. The black and white silhouettes feature touches of red and green. Scenes transform through cut-out doors and windows. Children will love the tiny details, such as the battle between the attic mice and the toy soldiers. In the final breathtaking pop-up, St. Nick soars over delicate rooftops.
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams begins with the toy rabbit in the Boy's stocking on Christmas morning. Although the rabbit is forgotten among all the other new presents, he becomes significant in the Boy's life. This 1922 classic has been called sentimental by some, but The Writer gives it to special children and always in the original edition with William Nicholson's illustrations in yellow, slate blue, and brick red. This is not a flashy book, but perhaps just right for reading with a child on Christmas night when the hectic day is over and a quiet moment is needed.
The Writer was thrilled when Leonard Marcus' Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children's Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way finally came out this fall. She only owned Golden Books as a young child and read each one to tatters. Marcus' wonderful tribute is filled with photographs, art, book covers, and remembrances. Give this book to anyone who loved their Golden Books!
A latecomer to the magic of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, The Writer was delighted to find The Annotated Secret Garden by Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina. Gerzina also wrote the definitive biography of Burnett. Illustrated with art from various editions of the classic, this is a great book for those looking for their own secret garden.
On The Writer's Wish List is a book she found hopscotching around kidlit blogs: Drawn to Enchant: Original Children's Book Art in the Betsy Beinecke Shirley Collection by Timothy Young. Lushly illustrated, this book chronicles the evolution of children's literature from the birth of our nation to the twenty-first century. The Writer hopes to see this book under the Christmas tree.
I hope it's not a very big book. There's not much room under this puny little tree.