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Everyone has their own favourite version of Charles Dicken's classic Christmas story "A Christmas Carol". It just isn't Christmas with reading or watching this story in some context. You may prefer the original, classic book. Perhaps you like the film versions with Russell Thorndike, Basil Rathbone ,Albert Finney, or Richard Williams. Perhaps you like more modern fair such as George C Scott, Patrick Stewart , or even Jim Carrey. But while many of these have turned in fine performances, there is one man .... or shall we say duck who epitomises the old miser to me, none other than Scrooge Mc Duck. This book is based on the Disney Film "Mickey's Christmas Carol ", which in spite all the great contenders remains my favourite version of this tale ( Yes - I'm a big child but we all know that already :) )
This book is part of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Reading. I have found this collection to be excellent both as storybooks for younger children, or as books for beginners to practice their reading skills on. Atypical page will have 3 to 6 longish sentences. I would expect most children would be able to read this sometime around age 6, and feel it would compare with Oxford reading level 8 -9 with the exception of "Ebeneezer", which of course could be pointed out to the child at first. The text is clear black of a good size on a white background. The illustrations are of a high quality ( as one would expect from Disney) and the books are very sturdy and well bound. We still have one of these from my childhood, and several second hand copies which date back to the mid 70's, with no sign of the pages loosening or the backs breaking down.
The story is basically a book version of the film, which itself is a retelling of the classic Dicken's novel using Disney Characters as the main characters. I have to admit, I found it quite odd calling Mickey "Bob Cratchit", Donald "Fred", and Goofy "Marley". If the children find this too confusing you may wish to substitute the Disney names instead.
I imagine everyone is familiar with this story, so I will keep to the very thinnest of p[lot descriptions. Scrooge is a miserable old miser who begrudges any cheer or expenditure, and mistreats those close to him, keeping his affections only for money. Donald is his good hearted nephew who wants to include Scrooge in his holiday cheer. Mickey his overworked and poverty stricken employee. Of course Minnie is his wife and we have three smaller mice as the Cratchit children. Goofy is the ghost of Marley, Scrooge's business partner, who has come to announce the arrival of 3 further ghosts who will give Scrooge a glimpse into Christmases past, present ,and future in an attempt show him what he has lost, and is still missing out on. Will Scrooge change his ways? Well honestly I believe you all already know the answer to that.
Both of my sons have enjoyed this book. It does remain relegated to our holiday shelf most of the year, only coming out after Hallloween and returning after Christmas, but it is a fun story to get into the holiday mood. My youngest is still very fond of Mickey Mouse, so he especially enjoys this, but the oldest still enjoys it, and can discuss many of the issues raised by the story. He can also read this to his brother when Mom needs a bit of help. I do think they are a bit too young for the original Christmas Carol, but this makes the story accessible to the youngest audiences.
I love Christmas books. We generally include at least one Christmas story in every night's story time from just after Halloween right up until Christmas. I think this helps create a holiday mood and build excitement for the coming holiday. I have to admit, I still love Disney myself, and I do enjoy the traditional Christmas tale as well, so this is a complete winning combination in my eyes. It's a nice story, has familiar characters, and does encourage children to think of others at Christmas as well.
This book was originally sold through Disney's book club. I do not know if it is currently in print and included in their club slections or not. The club operates by sending out two books of their choice every month for £3.49 each plus £1.99 postage. I think this is a reasonable price considering the quality of the books, but prefer to choose my own books rather then take whatever is sent, so I have never tried this club. I have purchased all of my Wonderful World Of Reading Books used, and this is available used, from Amazon at £2.81 including postage.