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Cover image for A Christmas carol
A Christmas carol

First edition.
New York : HarperCollins Children's Books, [2009]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 32 cm
An abridgement of Dickens's beloved tale of a miser who learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future.


Call Number
Christmas Picture Book Dickens

On Order



In this luminous picture book adaptation of Charles Dickens' immortal classic, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge leaps off the page to warm the soul of one and all. Be swept away in an unforgettable Christmas Eve, from Scrooge's first "Bah, humbug!" to the arrival of the Ghost of Christmas Past; from the courage of Tiny Tim to the glory of Christmas morning. Brett Helquist's art bursts with spirit, humor, and an irresistible attention to detail. Here is a treasure for the whole family to share, year after year. A merry Christmas, everyone!

Author Notes

Charles Dickens, perhaps the best British novelist of the Victorian era, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England on February 7, 1812. His happy early childhood was interrupted when his father was sent to debtors' prison, and young Dickens had to go to work in a factory at age twelve. Later, he took jobs as an office boy and journalist before publishing essays and stories in the 1830s.

His first novel, The Pickwick Papers, made him a famous and popular author at the age of twenty-five. Subsequent works were published serially in periodicals and cemented his reputation as a master of colorful characterization, and as a harsh critic of social evils and corrupt institutions. His many books include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Great Expectations, Little Dorrit, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities.

Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1836, and the couple had nine children before separating in 1858 when he began a long affair with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. Despite the scandal, Dickens remained a public figure, appearing often to read his fiction. He died in 1870, leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 6

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4 Up-While there are several versions of the holiday favorite to choose from, those wishing for a solidly classic telling will be more than satisfied with this complete edition. Hans Christian Andersen Award winner Innocenti renders the ink illustration masterfully. Whether the scenes feature a crowded city street; the frightening conversation between Scrooge and the transparent, white-outlined ghost of Marley; or a merry gathering at Fezziwig's warehouse, the detailed, Dickensian atmosphere is perfectly captured. Perspective plays an effective role as well, as when Scrooge's small and solitary head is first seen through the window of his office. The final image also depicts Scrooge through a window, but from the inside looking out into a sunny green field, with Tiny Tim standing close to the man who has become a second father. VERDICT All in all, a handsome, worthy addition to holiday reading traditions.-Joanna Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lisbeth Zwerger's glorious watercolors for Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol, first published in 1988, once again prove that she is as adept at creating the terrifying image of Christmas Yet to Come as she is showing the miraculous transformation of Scrooge. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

Historical notes, small color photographs, and illustrations in the margins, along with a few double-page spreads offering more information, supplement the text of Dickens's classic holiday tale about generosity. The additional notes add to the crowded format and are by no means comprehensive, but provide some interesting facts. The watercolor sketches are of average quality. From HORN BOOK Spring 2001, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A perennial holiday favorite is immortalized with a singular trade edition of the original manuscript.In association with the Morgan Library Museum in Manhattan, which places the original manuscript of Charles Dickens timeless Christmas classic on public display each holiday season, this collectible reprint represents the most faithful transcription to date. The edition includes a foreword by acclaimed author Colm Tibn, who adds factual commentary about Dickens writing inspiration and how the author designated the past, the present, and the future as the unearthly protagonists in his redemptive and morally purposeful story of Scrooge. Tibn believes the tale itself, a dark journey of the soul, derives much of its power from its grim portrait of London. The book is introduced by Morgan Librarys chief literary curator Declan Kiely, who explores Dickens determination in writing the storydone so while he suffered through a miserable coldand the many pivotal personal (financial anxiety), professional (prior book sales), and political issues (his advocacy for social reform) affecting his life of ecstatic restlessness leading up to the time when he wrote the story in the fall of 1843. Kiely artfully describes the tales five theatrical staves and scrutinizes the authors creative process and heavily edited composition. He also notes several minute details in Dickens writing style, the original manuscripts trail of sale, and the intricate disbinding and preparatory processes taken to produce this special volume. Dickens original manuscript in his cursive penmanshipwith some of the authors spelling peculiarities corrected)is featured opposite its verbatim translation. The storybook, impressively produced and crisply analyzed by both Tibn and Kiely, harbors the potential to joyfully transform a burdensome years of misery to merriness. A unique, ageless Yuletide treasure for fans and collectors alike. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Gr. 5 and up, younger for reading aloud. There's a new version of A Christmas Carol on every holiday list, but this one is special. It is Dickens' own performance text, cut and adapted by him for reading aloud in 90 minutes. All the great lines are here (well, almost all), including Scrooge's ever contemporary advice on what to do with the poor ("Are there no prisons?" ). The book's spacious design, with thick paper, clear type, and 21 sepia-tone illustrations done in watercolor and colored pencils, is great for group sharing. The pictures are comic and scary but never overwhelming. They pick up the theatrical, larger-than-life scenarios: the brooding, scowling miser alone at his desk; the ghostly visitors; the Cratchit family ecstatic over Christmas dinner. (Reviewed Sept. 1, 1996)0688136060Hazel Rochman

Library Journal Review

This production offers a different take on Dickens's 1843 ghost story by featuring one woman as the narrator and the entire cast-considering the story's brevity, there's a fair number of characters and voices, ranging from that "tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge," on down to Tiny Tim and others. British actress Miriam Margolyes presents the story through a straight narration of the author's sublime poetic prose but puts more of an animated spin on his equally superb dialog. VERDICT Traditionalists may prefer a male rendition since nearly all the characters are men, but Margolyes does the yuletide standard justice, and a female voice may prove more accessible to girls who are being introduced to the story. Buy accordingly.-Mike Rogers, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.