CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Bobbie Kalman.

Toronto, Crabtree Publishing, c1981.
63pp, paperbound boards, $11.15 (paperbound boards), $7.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-86505-003-1 (paperbound boards), 0-86505-003-1 (paper).

Grades 3-6.
Reviewed by Enid Dorward.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

Christmas is a magical time for children, but Christmas today is very different from Christmas in the early days of this country. The author begins with a description of typical Christmas activities in the late eighteenth century and tells how Christmas gradually changed from no celebration at all to one for adults and, in the late nineteenth century, to celebrations for children. She describes favourite foods, outdoor activities, games, decoration of homes, the development of customs such as the use of Christmas trees and mistletoe, the Santa Claus story, and Christmas cards and gifts. Brief mention is made of Christmas as a religious occasion.

The book is sturdily bound in a bright green cover, and it has a glossary and an index. It is illustrated with sepia-toned drawings and photographs printed on buff-coloured pages, quite in keeping with the period being described. Early Christmas would be more useful as a reference book than as a story book. The many headings assist in finding specific pieces of information, but they result in a rather disjointed story line. In fact, it is quite possible that adults viewing this as a "nostalgia book" iriight gain more from this book than their children.

Enid Dorward, Winnipeg, MB
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