Saturday, December 12, 2009
A Christmas Carol, Illustrated by Brett Helquist
A Christmas Carol
illustrated by Brett Helquist
adapted by Josh Greenhut
Harper Collins Children
Harper Published 2009,
1st Published 1843
When I first saw the pictures and trailer for this adaptation of the classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, I immediately went out to purchase the book. It is a treasure to have and I wanted to pass on my enthusiasm for this version to you.
Brett Helquist is an amazingly gifted artist who captures the expressions of the characters in a story to perfection. Each grimace, smile, flick of an eyebrow or glaring eye conveys the action of the story with brilliance. A visit to his site is entertaining and offers a look at his vast body of work.
I am a huge fan of this illustrator, who captured my attention many years ago when I first began teaching. I stumbled across the book, The Bad Beginning, by Lemony Snicket. Book One of this widely popular series had just been published and instantly I knew my students would love to listen to it as a read aloud in class. Brett Helquist's spectacular portrayal of Count Olaf had my students scrutinizing each illustration with eager attention. The Baudelaire children were adorable, so ill-fated and loved. You could hear a pin drop when I read this book and they moaned when the class period ended. The series continues to remain one of the highest circulating series in my media center.
Brett Helquist's version of A Christmas Carol is a valuable addition to the list of adaptations available first published in 1843 by Charles Dickens. This expressive picture book will reach many young children who have never heard this timeless Christmas story.