Sunday, 21 December 2014

Booky Advent Calendar Day 21 - "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, Lesley Sims and A. Marks (Usborne Publishing)

A Christmas Carol

Written by Charles Dickens and Lesley Sims

Illustrated by A. Marks

Published by Usborne Publishing

Charles Dickens' classic christmas tale deserves a place on anyone's Booky Advent Calendar, but the original story can be quite a hard sell to kids. It's very wordy and unapproachable for younger readers so it's great to see a fantastically edited and illustrated version from the Usborne Young Readers range.

The tale itself is so well known, the story of mean old Ebenezer Scrooge who pinches pennies and lives in a constant state of avaricious misery, inflicting misery on others too. A thoroughly nasty and unchristmassy chap!

On the night before Christmas, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his late departed business partner Marley, who warns him that he will be visited by three spirits, the ghosts of christmases past, present and future. Scrooge scoffs at the warning but the first ghost soon arrives hot on the heels of Marley to show Scrooge the error of his ways.

The ghost of christmas present shows Scrooge what he's missing out on, and even though Scrooge is mean to his employee Bob Cratchit, the poor fellow manages to scrape together a christmas for his family and his young son Tiny Tim all the same.

The ghost of christmas yet to come has the most chilling message to impart. Scrooge is dead, and no one mourns him, no one is sorry that he has gone, no one misses him - the most tragic message of all. Is it too late for Scrooge to change his ways?

You'll know the rest - and though this book heavily edits down a fairly hefty story into just a few pages, it's nonetheless an effective and lovely version of a well loved classic, perfectly rekindled for children to love and enjoy.

Charlotte's best bit: Tiny Tim having a shoulder carry from a newly reformed Scrooge! Hooray!

Daddy's Favourite bit: A lovely version of a well loved Christmas classic, perfect for introducing children to the wonderful works of Dickens.