Reviews for Gift of the Magi


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
The tale of a couple, each of whom sacrifices a beloved possession to purchase a Christmas gift for the other, enjoys a gentle new interpretation through watercolor illustrations in worn grays and warm brown tones. Henry's vocabulary is challenging, but Lynch's illustrations of wintry cityscapes and the protagonists' animated faces add an accessible level of storytelling to his sophisticated prose. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2008 November #1
The beloved short story first published in 1906 is presented in an attractive edition with full-color illustrations that bring the sentimental story of the young couple to life. Jim and Della live in a furnished flat in New York City, scraping by on a minimal income early in their marriage. At Christmastime, Della sells her beautiful, long hair for money to buy Jim a platinum pocket-watch chain. On the same day, Jim sells his heirloom pocket watch to buy a set of hair combs that Della has admired. Their Christmas gifts are compromised, but they realize they have the best gift of all--each other. The story is a period piece, with lengthy sentences, some old-fashioned vocabulary and asides to the reader from the omniscient narrator. Lynch's gentle illustrations help make the story accessible to today's readers, providing historical context in settings, costumes and the accoutrements of the era, as well as believable characterizations of the young couple. The text is printed on sepia-toned backgrounds that extend the antique flavor of the narrative. (Picture book. 10 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 October

Gr 5 Up -An illustrated, unabridged version of the classic short story in which a young husband and wife each, unbeknownst to the other, gives up a most treasured possession to buy the other a wonderful gift. The gifts, of course, are useless as a result, but the couple's love is presumably all the stronger. The sepia-toned watercolors have an authentic period look; the details present in the New York City street scenes and the couple's rather shabby apartment add a strong feeling of time and place to the story. Very different in style from Lisbeth Zwerger's lovely and delicate version (S & S, 2006), this is a fine choice for libraries needing another illustrated edition of this Christmas tale.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library

[Page 94]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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