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Christmas Day in the Morning Hardcover – October 1, 2002


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Christmas Day in the Morning + The Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree + The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story (Picture Puffins)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 880L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688162673
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688162672
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Published in 1955 and appearing for the first time as a picture book, this modest holiday tale from the author of The Good Earth might well have been called The Good Son. On Christmas Eve, a man recalls the holiday many years ago when he gave his father, a struggling farmer, a most-appreciated gift: the boy rose extra early to do his father's biggest chore, the milking. Buck's understated yet moving piece, paired with a sentimental note from the illustrator, will resonate with readers. Buehner's (Snowmen at Night) inky, starlit winter skies and rustic barn revealed by lantern light transport readers to a hushed and humble setting. All ages.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-Originally published in 1955, this story has been illustrated and brought to life for a new generation. A man remembers a great discovery he made when he was 15 and living on his father's farm. A few days before Christmas he overhears his dad saying how much he hates having to wake his son at dawn for morning chores. As a special gift for his father, the boy gets up at a quarter to three on Christmas morning and does the milking by himself. Buehner illustrates these scenes, many taking place at night and illuminated by lanterns or by moonlight, with a sturdy, folksy, old-fashioned solidity. The hard life on a farm, the struggle to keep the family and animals warm and fed, is reflected on the parents' faces. Moving and tender, this is a fine choice for reading aloud or family sharing.-S. P.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker was born on June 26, 1892, in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Her parents were Southern Presbyterian missionaries, most often stationed in China, and from childhood, Pearl spoke both English and Chinese. She returned to China shortly after graduation from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1914, and the following year, she met a young agricultural economist named John Lossing Buck. They married in 1917, and immediately moved to Nanhsuchou in rural Anhwei province. In this impoverished community, Pearl Buck gathered the material that she would later use in The Good Earth and other stories of China.
Pearl began to publish stories and essays in the 1920s, in magazines such as The Nation, The Chinese Recorder, Asia, and The Atlantic Monthly. Her first novel, East Wind, West Wind, was published by the John Day Company in 1930. John Day's publisher, Richard Walsh, would eventually become Pearl's second husband, in 1935, after both received divorces.

In 1931, John Day published Pearl's second novel, The Good Earth. This became the bestselling book of both 1931 and 1932, won the Pulitzer Prize and the Howells Medal in 1935, and would be adapted as a major MGM film in 1937. Other novels and books of nonfiction quickly followed. In 1938, less than a decade after her first book had appeared, Pearl won the Nobel Prize in literature, the first American woman to do so. By the time of her death in 1973, Pearl had published more than seventy books: novels, collections of stories, biography and autobiography, poetry, drama, children's literature, and translations from the Chinese. She is buried at Green Hills Farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The message reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.
Gilbert_Sundevil
This is a heart warming story and one I will read to my grandchildren each Christmas season, and they can carry on the tradition to their children.
Janet M. Mosley
It will be a Christmas story that we will read year after year in our family.
Deborah Conner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 99 people found the following review helpful By M. Brown on December 11, 2002
Format: Library Binding
This book truly exemplifies the true meaning of christmas, to love one another. When Rob, the 15 year old boy of a modest farm family, overhears his parents talking, he comes to realize the love his father has for him and the love he also holds for his father. Not having the money to purchase a gift that he feels expresses this love, he chooses to surprise his father by doing the morning milking and chores before the usual 4AM. He sneaks out to the barn and his heart bursts with love as he waits for his father to discover the surprise. The illustrations are beautiful, dark and dusky like the time of day before surnrise, and the clouds in the sky take the shape of the Holy Family on the first Christmas. A valuable lesson for all. The gift of love is the most precious gift of all.
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67 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I collect Christmas stories and purchase only one or two each year. My criteria are excellent storyline as well as beautiful illustrations. This book hits the mark on both counts. The storyline is both "real" and touching. It emphesizes the important things about Christmas including being together as a family and serving others. Truely, the best gifts, as this story illustrates, do not come from the store.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Conner on November 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This story is beautifully written and illustrated. It will be a Christmas story that we will read year after year in our family. It is a poignant tale of a boy and his father and the realization by the boy that he is truly loved and wants to return that love. As an adult, it makes me look back on my childhood and love my parents even more by seeing the small things they did for me. It brought tears to my eyes.

We own many of Mark Buehner's books and that is why I purchased this Pearl S. Buck book. I was so pleasantly surprised by how wonderful the story was as well as the illustrations. Be sure to look for the figures hidden in the illustrations. Mark Buehner is famous for doing this in his illustrations. Mary, Joseph, the Christ Child, angels, and animals are hidden in the clouds over the barn on the cover. You will find characters throughout the book in the clouds, in the grain of the woodwork, and in the fabric of quilts and furniture. My children love looking for these hidden objects.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Intelligent Parent on November 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I disagree that this book is not for the very young. We got this book for our daughter when she was 20 months old. (It may not work in some families, but we have found it's the topics that aren't discussed that scare children.)* It has been a favorite year after year. We love this book because it gets at the SPIRIT of Christmas. A boy truly gives of himself to ensure a happy holiday for his family, especially his father who normally doesn't get a break. This book teaches empathy by example without preaching. The illustrations are beautiful and so is the prose. We've seen a few books that try to share the same message but fail because adults in the stories TELL the children they should buy or do things for others or they employ subtle guilt (but don't kid yourself, even young children sense that). Highly reccommended for all ages.

*a previous reviewer said there was a problem with the reference to the deceased father many years after this special holiday [after the boy has a family of his own]. The reader does not know how or when the father died and it is not emphasized. The adult son is only remembering his father.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Hestialady on November 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is about a boy who realizes his father loves him when he overhears his father saying that he hates to wake him to milk the cows. The story takes place in the 'olden days' so it has an appeal and will spark questions about what Christmas was like years ago. The message is that it's more blessed to give than to recieve and also that the best and most memorable gifts don't necessarily come from a store.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Holly VINE VOICE on December 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This has always been one of my favorite Christmas stories, and a couple of years ago, my mom gave me this lovely hardcover version of it.

The story opens with a man remembering a long ago Christmas when money was scarce and he wanted to find the best possible gift for his father. Overhearing his father tell his mother how much he hates to waken his son each morning to do the milking, Rob realizes how much his father really does love him. He decides that the gift he will give his father is to do all the milking on Christmas morning, so that his father won't have to do it.

This is a lovely story of selfless love and service. The interactions between father and son are beautiful. An easy book for children to read and a perfect book to read aloud as a family.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ohbutdarling on March 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully written story with gorgeous illustrations that reminds us that Christmas is not about the brightly wrapped gifts under the tree, it's about love. The father who notices that his child doesn't like getting up in the morning to do chores gives his son the gift of doing them for him. No secrets wrapped in bright paper, no consumerism -- just a simple gift given from the heart. This is a wonderful book to share with your children at the holidays; make it a tradition they will always remember and set aside special times to read this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Dean on December 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Does not disappoint. I have a 2 yr. old and 4 yr. old and they enjoyed the story and illustrations. It'll mean more to them as they get older. Helps them understand the farm life of their grandparents. Highly recommend.
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