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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Smallest Gift of Christmas, written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2013. $16.00 ages 3 and up

"You call THAT big?"
Roland asked. He had
been wishing for something
MUCH bigger. He closed his
eyes and wished a little harder.
"Ha! That one isn't much
bigger than me," Roland said.
"And I'm not very big!"  

For many people today, bigger and more expensive does seem to make everything better! There is no time when that is more evident  than when it comes to buying gifts for Christmas. No longer content with 40 inch television sets, people battle huge crowds for a great deal on a 70 inch one to replace that less appealing one!

Roland has learned that lesson from somewhere. Filled with excitement, he bounds down the stairs on Christmas morning, and is stopped short when he sees a very tiny present with his name on it. It is definitely not what he is expecting. Not content to accept the slight, he promptly closes his eyes and wishes for something 'more'. With each successive 'bigger' gift, he remains discontent.


Nothing on earth is good enough for him now. That means a rocket ship and a search through the universe! When he realizes how far he is from home, he is overcome with emotion and wants nothing more than to be back where he was before all the wishing began. There, he receives the best gift of all...home and family.

There is something so appealing about Peter Reynolds' signature visuals and hand printed books. I fall in love with them every time I read one. He is able to capture feelings and character with little details, and his use of white space is spot on, allowing what is most important to be front and center at all times. This new Christmas tale is a heartwarming and welcome addition to my collection of books from this fine artist!

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