Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Audio : Audio Book
The Spirit of Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas

Spring 2010 Audio Book
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Producer: Macmillan Audio
CD Price: $14.99
Grammy-winner Jim Dale, perhaps best known for his work narrating the Harry Potter audio books, reads this audio version of Nancy Tillman's Christmas picture book. In Tillman's story, her main character has all the trappings of a traditional Christmas, but he feels as if something is missing amid the bells and festive decorations. He gradually realizes that what is missing is the presence of a loved one far away, and that what makes a holiday special is sharing it. As Tillman reminds us, "It's not really Christmas if love isn't in it." She also acknowledges the sacred meaning behind Christmas celebrations, as her characters remember, "this all began with a child." Tillman's rhyming text is set to soft Christmas music that underscores the message of holiday warmth. Dale reads two tracks aloud: one just for the audio version and one designed for following along with the written text (book sold separately). There is also a bonus track of Dale reading Clement C. Moore's classic A Visit from St. Nicholas. The remainder of the 13-track CD is comprised of carols sung by the St. Paul's Children's Choir. The CD is a pleasant collection for families and young children, and the packaging is adorned with Tillman's lovely illustrations from the original book. It makes a nice gift or addition to one's own Christmas collection.

Note: This review refers to the audio book version.

Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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