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A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens


by Charles Dickens ; adapted by Adam McKeown ; illustrated by Gerald Kelley

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-553-51199-4
Publisher: Doubleday

Gloomy old Scrooge glowers menacingly from the cover in this lavishly illustrated abridgement of the beloved Christmas story.

Evocative illustrations created with watercolor and digital media set the mood with endpapers presenting a panoramic view of sooty Victorian London. As the familiar story unfolds, the dark, brooding skies and smoky fog of city streets are juxtaposed with glowing, happy scenes of a long-ago party and the Cratchit family sitting down to Christmas Eve dinner. Scrooge exhibits a wide variety of emotions in his encounters with the four ghosts of the story, including quite scary apparitions of Marley and the black-robed Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Most illustrations are double-page spreads, with a few paragraphs of text integrated within the illustrations. The competent adaption retains some of the flavor of the original Dickens story while shortening it and simplifying its language. Unfortunately, Scrooge’s famous promise to honor Christmas in his heart is missing. With its extra-large trim size and compelling illustrations, this version would make a fine read-aloud for an elementary-age group or a useful introduction before attending the play. It is similar in size and artistic interpretation to the 2009 edition adapted by Josh Greenhut and illustrated by Brett Helquist.

The lessons Scrooge learned are still valuable and worthy of passing along to younger readers, who can meet these famous characters and learn the origin of the oft-quoted “Humbug!” (Picture book. 6-12)