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Classic Christmas Stories for Children and Families


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Quentin Blake's A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Quentin Blake's A Christmas Carol
Anova Books
The size, illustrations and format make Quentin Blake's A Christmas Carol a family-friendly edition of the classic tale of Scrooge by Charles Dickens. The book, which is unabridged, is very much a gift edition. The 150-page hardbound book is large - 8½" x 11" - with a bright red cover featuring a colorful and lively holiday scene by Quentin Blake. The type is larger than usual, making it easy for young readers and those reading aloud to enjoy the book. Extras include the Foreword by Quentin Blake and illustrated biographies of the author and illustrator at the end of the book.

In the Foreword, Quentin Blake discusses Dickens' story, saying, "At the centre is the wonderfully drawable, memorable figure of Scrooge. He seems the very spirit of anti-Christmas...But he is human all the same, and in the travels of that strange Christmas Eve he finds his true human feelings again. In his company we are reminded (as we still need reminding) of the importance of generosity of spirit, and the possibilities of worth in ordinary people."

Quentin Blake is a well-known and beloved illustrator in both his native England and in the US. Blake's characteristic quirky pen-and-ink and watercolor sketches are an excellent complement to Dickens' story. Full page and spot illustrations, some black and white and others in full color, are scattered throughout the book. Blake is probably best known in the United States for his illustrations of children's books by Roald Dahl, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. Blake's artwork is so distinctive that once you see his artwork, you will recognize other examples of it immediately from then on.

Pavilion Children's Books, an imprint of English publisher Anova Books, published this edition of Quentin Blake's A Christmas Carol in 2011. The ISBN is 9781843651659. Compare prices.

Another edition of A Christmas Carol for young people that I recommend is the one illustrated by by P.J. Lynch. To learn more about Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol, see Why and How Charles Dickens Wrote the Classic Story of Ebeneezer Scrooge and A Christmas Carol Adaptations.

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