An exquisite interpretation of the ever popular Christmas song “Jingle Bells” is a companion piece to Puttapipat’s stellar edition of The Night Before Christmas (2007).
As in the previous volume, the elegant illustrations in ink and gouache have the look of old-fashioned silhouettes, with sharp, black details highlighted against snowy-white backgrounds. The setting for the song follows a couple dressed in Victorian clothing as they travel home in their ornate sleigh loaded with a Christmas tree and a red sack of presents. The words to the song unfold across the bottoms of the pages in white type set against black backgrounds decorated with sprigs of holly. Two of the right-hand pages have an angled, cut-paper edge, one an intricately designed tree and the other the outline of roofs in a town. As these pages are turned, they become part of the design of the following pages. As intrigued children will likely want to keep flipping these back and forth, it’s a good thing the pages are exceptionally sturdy. The song concludes with a spectacular pop-up spread with white trees and buildings, townspeople in black silhouettes, and a central evergreen tree decorated for Christmas. In front is the couple in the one-horse sleigh, this time all in white. This pop-up scene is breathtakingly beautiful but also extremely delicate, making it a look-but-don’t-touch conclusion.
Despite the fragile nature of the final tableau, this is a lovely version of the beloved song that could be used by an adult reader to mesmerize a young audience. (Picture book. 3-adult)