CHRISTMAS MAGIC by Michael Garland


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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Enchantment is in the air as Emily builds a snowwoman in her yard, topping her off with an old coat, a carrot nose, a straw hat, and a fancy name—Katrina. Inside the house, the angel choir is in place on the table, the tree is decorated, the stockings are hung, and all is ready for Emily to be asleep . . . all except for Emily, that is. Wide awake, she peeks out into the yard and sees that her snowwoman has turned her head to look at the snowman built by the new boy next door. Then she runs to the hall to see her cat and dog dancing and the angel choir flying around. Mice in the kitchen baking, stockings dancing—what could be next? Nothing less than a wonderful scene where Katrina and her snowman come to life—a beautiful lady with her gallant gentleman and a moonlit dance in the falling snowflakes. As dawn breaks, her parents find Emily asleep in the chair and wonder at the strange dream she had. But there is no denying that the two snowpeople are now standing side by side, and that Emily and the new boy will be friends. Garland’s (Last Night at the Zoo, not reviewed, etc.) telling of this imaginative story is somewhat flat, and the illustrations are also a mixed bag. While the beautiful outdoor illustrations show a stunning winter wonderland, many of the indoor scenes are punctuated by an odd mixture of drawings and cutouts. On Emily’s comfy bed, a teddy bear sleeps on the pillow, but the cutout picture of the rigid Victorian doll is dropped in, and like many of the cut pictures, appears to be floating in air instead of resting on a surface. A nice enough story—but it’s the mysterious happenings that “hold the true magic of Christmas”? Disappointing. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-525-46797-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2001


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