by Charles Dickens
additional material by Stephen Skelton
original story published in 1843
I am thrilled to say that I read this entire short story to Kiddo in the original (old-fashioned language and all) and that we both loved it - yay!
*** My Thoughts ***
I remember loving this book when I read it years ago, and I've been wanting to read it to Kiddo for quite some time. I made it one of my goals this holiday season so I'm doubly thrilled to have met that goal AND enjoyed the whole process.
We took about two weeks to read this book despite the very short length. That's because we've been so busy with Kiddo's surgery and the holidays that time kept getting away from us. Plus I had to stop often in my reading to explain things to Kiddo; Dickens is one wordy guy and although Kiddo was paying close attention, he didn't always understand what was going on. So my reading pace was slower than usual but we did finally make it to the end.
(As a side note, my mother-in-law offered me her copy of the book which was rewritten to be more accessible to children. I didn't take it, because I wanted Kiddo to be exposed to the original. And I'm so glad that I stuck with it. In the end, Kiddo said that the old-fashioned language didn't bother him at all and that he really enjoyed the story.)
My opinion? "I love this story and I think everyone should read it at least once. It will restore your faith in humanity and help you keep the Christmas spirit all year round."
Kiddo's opinion? "I liked it!"
*** Mom & Son Book Club Questions ***
Did you like this book? Yes, but there were good parts and bad parts. [Mom's note: After much discussion, I realized the "bad" parts were those times when he was really bothered by the characters' actions.]
What was your favorite part? When Scrooge gave Bob Cratchitt a raise. And when Tiny Tim said "God bless us, every one." [Mom's note: Kiddo also pointed out that in the Mickey version, Scrooge makes Bob his partner, but that it doesn't happen in the book. Kiddo wasn't happy about that or that Scrooge didn't bring toys to the Cratchitt house, as those are his favorite parts of Mickey's A Christmas Carol.]
What was your least favorite part? When the people stole Scrooge's stuff after he died - that was so mean! [Mom's note: Kiddo was REALLY bothered by this whole section. It was worse for him than the creepiness of the Spirit of Christmas Future or of Scrooge being dead.]
Would you recommend this book to your friends? No, because it might scare them and they might not understand it. Did it scare you? No. Did you understand it? Yes. So you're saying that you're smarter than all your friends? [Here Kiddo started smirking slightly.] Well, a little ...
*** Other Thoughts ***
One of the reasons I wanted to read this with Kiddo was to prepare him for the Disney version that is in theaters now. He loves Mickey's A Christmas Carol, but I'd heard that the Jim Carey version was a bit more intense and I wanted to be sure he wouldn't be scared by the images that go with the Ghost of Christmas Future. Now that we've read it, we're ready to see the film. I just hope there is time before - or right after - Christmas!
*** About This Version ***
The version of the book I read is pictured above and is a new release this year. It includes a TON of annotations that illustrate Dickens' many Biblical references in the story. It also includes discussion questions that could be used with a Bible study group or for family discussion.
In reading this book to Kiddo, I chose to read him the story only. After we finished the story, I went back and read all the annotations and discussion questions on my own. I LOVED the annotations! In fact, I wish I'd read them before reading the story to Kiddo; they would have helped me to explain some of the sections better. And although I didn't use the discussion questions, I can see that they would be a great basis for a fun and insightful group discussion of this book.
Here's a video that shows you some of the pages inside and give you a better idea of what this version of the book is all about.
Thank you to the publicist for sending me a copy of this book; I was planning to read this story during December anyway, so the book arrived at the perfect time. And this version was a real treat, one that has gained a place in my permanent collection.
*** Your Thoughts ***
I KNOW that many of you have read this ... so where are all your posts?! I certainly can't find them. Here are two reviews that I DID find: