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A Child's Christmas in Wales (1954)

by Dylan Thomas

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,443378,854 (4.21)138
A Welsh poet recalls the celebration of Christmas in Wales and the feelings it evoked in him as a child.
  1. 10
    Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Very similar, poetic writing style that tries to convey memories of childhood in rural Britain through an imaginative child's eyes.
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» See also 138 mentions

English (32)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Some nice poetry in the prose, but absolutely nothing in the way of plot, barely any characters, and the only emotional appeal was treacly sentimentality. On the plus side... it's short! ( )
  James_Maxey | Jun 29, 2020 |
Lovely. I actually don't think I ever read this before...really? Found it amongst my Christmas books as I was unpacking. A classic for sure and one I know my kids read. ( )
  beebeereads | Dec 22, 2017 |
Taken from a 1952 radio broadcast and read by the poet himself, A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas is lyrical picture drawn from his memories of the various Christmases of his youth. This broadcast also includes the poet reading some of his other works including his most celebrated poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’ which I found to be very moving.

The first thing that struck me was the quality of his voice, being both rich and deep. This magnificent voice was enhanced by his timing and imagery. His whimsical and random memories included stories of youthful mischief and tales of his abundance of aunts and uncles who tended to over-indulge in Christmas spirits.

This was a short trip to a nostalgic, innocent past told in an expressive and lilting style. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Dec 20, 2017 |
"One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six. All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged, fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find."

So begins A Child's Christmas in Wales, in which acclaimed twentieth-century poet Dylan Thomas reminisces about his childhood Christmas experiences. With an impressionistic, string-of-consciousness format, in which memories rush in, one upon the other, crowding together in chaotic ways, and yet somehow combining unexpectedly into a moving whole, this is a lovely little holiday book. One gets a sense of the wealth of family and tradition that surrounded Thomas in his youth, and of the wider community around him in his childhood hometown of Swansea. There is a wonderful sense of humor here, especially in some of the descriptions of the aunts and uncles who come to visit, and a poignant sense of a world and a time - the world and time of childhood - now lost.

Apparently based upon some recordings that Dylan Thomas did for the BBC, A Child's Christmas in Wales is one of those holiday classics I have been meaning to read for years. I'm glad that I finally did, as I greatly enjoyed the experience, both of reading the author's poetic prose, and of perusing the lovely artwork done by Trina Schart Hyman for the edition that I read. Hyman is one of my favorite fairy-tale artists, but whatever the subject matter, her illustrations always do her source material justice. Recommended to Dylan Thomas fans, if they have not already picked it up, as well as to anyone looking for nostalgic reexaminations of childhood, as seen through a Christmas lens. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Dec 19, 2017 |
Dylan Thomas is one of the very first poets whose work I started reading when the poetry bug bit me years ago. Nobody creates a visual imagery in rich textures but him. I am practically smitten with Dylan. (Forgive my first name calling, but you see that's how much I love him.)

A Child's Christmas in Wales is one of the most beautiful Christmas accounts I've read. Dickens depresses me usually with his Christmas tales. But Dylan is a delight in every sense. His words transcend my senses and transport me to the Wales he lived in. How I wish in my lifetime to visit Wales and see the place that inspired this man! I like the Christmas nostalgia created because of this poem prose. Me who has never really believed or enjoyed festivals and festivities, tend to become soft hearted with Christmas and its merry spirits. I love to cherish the last lines from the poem which are as follows:

Looking through my bedroom window, out into the moonlight and the unending smoke-colored snow, I could see the lights in the windows of all the other houses on our hill and hear the music rising from them up the long, steady falling night.

This is the power and magic of words, lilting the reader with imageries more beautiful in dreams than seen in real world. ( )
  Sharayu_Gangurde | Jan 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas, Dylanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ardizzone, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bailey, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eichenberg, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fried, ErichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Griffiths, GarethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hyman, Trina SchartIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rankin, EllenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raschka, ChrisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ungeheuer, NataschaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-side corner now out of all sound except the distant speaking of voices I sometimes hear the moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it was twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.
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But we only called the fire brigade, and soon the fire engine came and three tall men in helmets brought a hose into the house and Mr. Prothero got out just in time before they turned it on. Nobody could have had a noisier Christmas Eve. And when the firemen turned off the hose and were standing in the wet, smoky room, Jim's Aunt, Miss. Prothero, came downstairs and peered in at them. Jim and I waited, very quietly, to hear what she would say to them. She said the right thing, always. She looked at the three tall firemen in their shining helmets, standing among the smoke and cinders and dissolving snowballs, and she said, 'Would you like anything to read?'
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Candlewick Press

An edition of this book was published by Candlewick Press.

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