CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 13 . . . . February 28, 2003
The lyrics and score are reproduced on both sets of endpapers, and the words are placed in a narrative story format on each page. Australian artist Bruce Whatley beautifully interprets the text of the song in large full colour paintings. In these paintings, an old-fashioned and very appealing Mr. Claus sets off from the North Pole and is on his way to Matthew’s house with a stowaway dog in his sleigh. Matthew longs for a dog, and on Christmas morning he is delighted to find a lovely white puppy under the tree. Whatley captures the magic and joy of Christmas in his paintings. Like his best-selling Night Before Christmas (HarperCollins, 1999), Whatley has taken a classic and reinvigorated it in stunning contemporary illustrations which tell their own story. Here we see a modern family and images of interracial elves and carolers. Whatley uses strong contrasting colours, repeating patterns and realistic drawings to evoke the song’s theme of hopefulness.
Children will love listening to this book (whether you sing or read it) in the days leading up to the holiday and will enjoy looking at the richly detailed art and images.
Lorraine Douglas is the Youth Services Coordinator at the Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.
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