Friday, December 7, 2012

PPBF: An Alcott Family Christmas


Welcome to another Perfect Picture Book Friday review!  Since we will be celebrating Christmas soon, I chose picture books from our personal collection.  But alas, many are unavailable.  This one is out of print, but, can be found using the links on the left side of this page, and was found at our local libraries.








An Alcott Family Christmas

Author and illustrator: Alexandra Wallner
Publisher: Holiday House/New York
Copyright: 1996

Genre: Historic Fiction

Ages: 7 to 10

Themes: Christmas, Louisa May Alcott, New England Christmas, Civil War, family celebrations, "Little Women"

Opening lines: "It was early morning on Christmas Day. A delicious baking smell drifted through the house. Louisa was still in bed. She sniffed the air.
"Marmee's plummy cake," she thought. "Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without it."

Why I like this book: I love New England, and the story of "Little Women." This picture book is a simple retelling of the opening Christmas scene in Louisa May Alcott's novel, which was taken from vignettes of her family's daily life. My heart went out to the girls as they watched their Christmas dinner being carted off to the ailing neighbor's home. I felt cheated as Louisa did...how selfish is that? I don't think I would have felt as compassionate as I should have in that situation!


Here are some fun links:

Everything you want to know about Louisa May Alcott here.

Opening scene to "Little Women" for comparison here.

Alcott's Christmas celebration, songs, traditions and other delightful information here.


And, for more great book ideas, categorized by subject for use by teachers, librarians, and parents, see Susanna Hill's Perfect Picture Book list...truly an amazing resource!


18 comments:

  1. Oo, what a find! I had no idea there was a picture book of some of Louisa M Alcott's life/work! Indeed, watching one's Christmas dinner taken to others would be a challenge for anyone, old or young!

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    1. Yes, I was thrilled to find this one, Joanna! It's amazing what we can glean from the everyday life of authors...or our own.

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  2. Wow! Lovely Christmas find. I love historical fiction. This one is particularly inviting because I love Louisa M. Alcott. I'm going to check out the library.

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    1. I hope you can find it, Patricia...it's worth the search!

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  3. I'll have to check it out - still haven't decided what to enter the Tomie de Paola contest w/ and Little Women is an option, and I have been looking at what has 'been done'. Thanks!

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    1. You are welcome, Julie...food for thought!

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  4. Jarm, thank you for this - I'm going to at least get out my copy of Little Women until I can find this PB.

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    1. Good plan, Laura...thanks for stopping by to comment!

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  5. I should just leave the library's website open in my browser when I'm reading PPBF posts, this is the third time in three posts that I've opened it to request the book! This sounds wonderful. I just love Louisa May Alcott, and didn't need to click through to see the beginning of Little Women, because I have it in my head! Thank you, Jarm!

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    1. I do the same thing, Beth! I'm loving the variety found on PPBF...

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  6. Our local theatre did this story as their Christmas play a few years ago. I think that I will have to reread that section of Little Women this Christmas.

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    1. I would love to have seen it Sandy. I think it's one of my favorite scenes in the book!

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  7. I'd never heard of this one before. THanks for sharing it!

    ~Debbie

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    1. You are welcome, Debbie...and get well quickly!

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  8. Oh, the Alcotts. What childhood memories this has brought me. Thanks Jarm!

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    1. I'm sure it was a beloved book for many a young girl. Thanks for stopping by, Kirsten!

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  9. I LOVE Little Women, and I can't believe I haven't seen this book before! Thank you for bringing it to my attention. What a great choice to add to our list. I, too, love New England Christmas, and agree that I would probably not have been as compassionate as the girls :) Thanks for adding this one to the list, Jarm!

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  10. Thanks, Susanna. Just goes to show you how many PBs are yet undiscovered. We will never run out of choices!

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I would love to have you comment...thanks!

Journey into the Promised Land

Journey into the Promised Land
From Egypt to Israel