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An Early American Christmas
Cover of An Early American Christmas
An Early American Christmas
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A new family shows the neighborhood what Christmas is all aboutIn this small New England village, no one makes much of a fuss about Christmas—until a new family moves in, that is. The family works tirelessly to prepare for the holiday: decorating the house, hand-dipping candles, baking mounds of delicious cookies, and carving nativity pieces. In the end, these new neighbors show their small village how to celebrate the holiday in a very special way.

A new family shows the neighborhood what Christmas is all aboutIn this small New England village, no one makes much of a fuss about Christmas—until a new family moves in, that is. The family works tirelessly to prepare for the holiday: decorating the house, hand-dipping candles, baking mounds of delicious cookies, and carving nativity pieces. In the end, these new neighbors show their small village how to celebrate the holiday in a very special way.

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About the Author-
  • Tomie dePaola (b. 1934) is best known for his books for children. He has written and/or illustrated nearly 250 books. Over 15 million copies of his books have sold. The Birds of Bethlehem is his newest book. Strega Nona Does it Again will be published in fall 2013.


    Born in Meriden, Connecticut, dePaola received his BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and his MFA from the California College of Arts in Oakland, California. He received a doctoral equivalency in fine arts from Lone Mountain College in San Francisco.


    In addition to writing and illustrating children's books, dePaola taught for several years in art and theater departments in colleges in California, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.


    DePaola has received many prestigious awards, including the Smithson Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota, the Regina Medal from the Catholic Library Association, and the Sarah Josepha Hale Award, a prestigious distinction in writing by a New Englander.


    He was also the United States nominee in 1990 for the international Hans Christian Andersen Award in illustration. The American Library Association named Strega Nona a Caldecott Honor Book and 26 Fairmount Avenue a Newbery Honor Book. He was the 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award recipient for "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children." He received the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.


    The University of Connecticut, Georgetown University, and Pratt Institute, among others, have granted him honorary doctoral degrees. Pratt Institute, in 2012, named him "one of the top 125 Pratt icons of all time." In 1999, he was selected for the New Hampshire Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure.
    DePaola makes his home in New London, New Hampshire, where he works in a renovated 200-year-old barn. Visit the author at www.tomie.com andwww.tomiesblog.blogspot.com.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 1, 1987
    DePaola begins with a historical note that surely will intrigue children: in Colonial New England, the celebration of Christmas was shunned in many villages. He depicts the arrival of a German family into one such town, showing their careful, loving preparations. Their efforts begin in autumn, when bayberries are picked and candles made; they continue throughout the fall, until apples are dried and strung, cookies and pretzels are baked, "hearts of man'' and other paper ornaments are snipped and, finally, candles are lit in every window. This provides a fascinating look at Christmas as it once was: a holiday whose customs were entwined with the season's natural bounty. The emphasis is on the joys of preparation and of quiet, heartfelt observance; refreshingly, gift-giving is not a concern. This is a warm and beautifully realized tribute to the spirit and traditions of the season. Ages 4-8.

  • Kirkus Reviews

    "[dePaola's] brightly colored, folk-art style nicely complements his story of one family's way of celebrating Christmas. Avoiding holiday sentimentality without sacrificing joy in the season, this is a nice addition to holiday book collections."

  • Publishers Weekly "A fascinating look at Christmas as it once was: a holiday whose customs were entwined with the season's natural bounty. The emphasis is on the joys of preparation and of quiet, heartfelt observance; refreshingly, gift-giving is not a concern. This is a warm and beautifully realized tribute to the spirit and traditions of the season."
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    Holiday House
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