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>It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year

>Yes indeed, late August and surrounded by holiday books. We Do It Now So You Don’t Have To Later. Perhaps the most eccentric title in this year’s pile is, depending on how you punctuate the title page, It’s a Wonderful Life for Kids, or “It’s a Wonderful Life”: for Kids, due next month from Dutton. Written by Jimmy Hawkins, who played little Tommy Bailey in the movie, it retells, in the form of a sequel, the scenario of It’s A Wonderful Life as it might have been experienced by Tommy: in his case, Tommy loses the envelope containing money for the library fund, and in his despair runs to the local bridge, where he meets . . . Arthur, Angel Second Class, sent down by ol’ Clarence who once helped out Tommy’s father. And, likewise, Timmy gets to see what life in Bedford Falls would have been like had he never been born. Talk about the sins of the fathers . . . .

Still, ka-ching! I wonder who got his wings for this one?

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. >There is nothing like a pile of holiday books to make me want to stick my head in an oven, but every once in a while there’s a Three French Hens or Santa Claus: The World’s Number One Toy Expert that makes me think I shouldn’t pack it all in just yet.

  2. >I love holiday books! Of course, I probably should say I love well written and wonderfully illustrated holiday books. Halloween and Thanksgiving titles are big purchases for me due to student teachers being in the schools that time of year. Not so much of a need, though definitely a want, for December holiday books since the students are off on winter break during that time.

    I’m hoping for some not-too-scary-yet-clever Halloween titles and Thanksgiving titles that go beyond the stereotype.

  3. Roger Sutton says:

    >Christmas books were always very popular year-round with the kids in libraries where I worked; we always held a bunch back for the actual season just to make sure there would be some on the shelves.

    I didn’t see any Christmas (or Thanksgiving, or Hannukah, or Kwanzaa) must-haves in this year’s crop but I love the Yorinks-Sendak pop-up collaboration, Mommy?. Perfect for Halloween, and Sendak looks like he’s having the most fun he’s had in years.

  4. rindambyers says:

    >Seems to me maybe there might be a lot of Christmas stories out there just not getting told:

    I’ve always found James Herriot’s “The Christmas Kitten,” reliable to do a bit of readers theatre type thing with for general audiences like maybe to my quilt group’s sit and sew at a December meeting.

    It’s a storybook not classic picturebook and over-long for very little ones, but–a good story, holds up well, general appeal to ye olde heartstrings…..

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