Friday, December 21, 2012

DECK THE HALLS by Norman Rockwell

Rockwell, Norman. Deck the Halls. New York: Atheneum Books, 2008. ISBN: 978-1-4169-1771-7, $ 16.99. All ages.

I close Deck the Halls and smile. I smile because it brings back warm Christmas memories. I smile because I smiled so many times throughout this book. And I smile because I know I will smile again the next time I read it.

Deck the Halls is illustrated with 14 of Norman Rockwell's Christmas paintings. The title page opens with Rockwell's Golden Rule, Saturday Evening Post cover from April 1, 1961. The multi-cultural and multi-faith communities represented in it are a beautiful reminder of what is most important, even more than Christmas. Turn the page though, and you're off on a journey accompanied by the familiar lyrics of "Deck the Halls" and pictures celebrating the quintessential American Christmas.

You'll find yourself giving a wry smile when Mom and Dad are caught stitching Santa into his "gay apparel" and you just might find yourself chuckling (or trembling) at the exhilarating (or terrifying) memories elicited by Rockwell's Young Love Sledding. You might find yourself savoring the delightful curiosity of the young boy and pup studying the "...blazing Yule before us" in Is He Coming? (or Little Boy Looking Up Chimney). Then again, you might begin drifting into contemplative silence of how "fast away the old year passes..." as you observe and join the Little Girl Looking Downstairs at Christmas Party. Most of all though, I hope you find yourself feeling some of the joy and wonder that is—"heedless of the wind and weather"—displayed on the faces of Couple Ice Skating.

This is a book I plan to read multiple times. In fact, I just might hold my family hostage before we open presents on Christmas morning—or Christmas Eve (patient, we are not!).

Stephanie Ashley

No comments:

Post a Comment