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The Friendly Beasts: an old English Christmas Carol Paperback – October 5, 1998

28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (October 5, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0698116615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0698116610
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California.
It drove him through the years of teaching, designing greeting cards and stage sets, and painting church murals until 1965, when he illustrated his first children's book, Sound, by Lisa Miller for Coward-McCann. Eventually, freed of other obligations, he plunged full time into both writing and illustrating children's books.
He names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major influences on his work, but he soon found his own unique style. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his ""singular attainment in children's literature,"" the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal for his ""continued distinguished contribution,"" and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration.
Tomie dePaola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.
- He has been published for over 30 years.
- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.
- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.
- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition for his books in the children's book world, including:
- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association
- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association
- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution
- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal
- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association

"

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 2001
Format: School & Library Binding
I believe this is a 12th Century French Carol -- and not an old English Carol,as stated. Well, regardless of which side of the Channel it comes from, it's charming. If ever you have the chance to hear this sung by little ones, don't miss it -- it was meant for their sweet voices.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have an old copy of this book and read it to my toddler this Christmas season. It is beautifully illustrated, with a copy of the music at the back. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Williamson on October 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have loved this Christmas carol since my children learned it in their Episcopalian school. It captures the essence of the season...giving of yourself is the most precious gift of all. Each "beast" in the stable honors the Christ child by giving of itself. What a powerful message illustrated by one of the finest authors/illustrators, Tomie dePaola. I have urged every parent I know to purchase a copy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By first words...God's breath on January 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Tomie dePaola, born of Irish and Italian parents, now, at the age of 75, is a noted artist of childrens' books, and many other art media formats. His illustrations are very simple, but constant. Most of his illustrations are contained within a bordered page, as if that page were meant to be framed. As a teacher of young children, I became fascinated with his artistic presentations, which allowed the children to enter into the story. Many of his books are based on legends that have been handed down for generations.

Presently, I am using the miniature picture of a paperback cover, as the original library binding from 1981 is no longer available; I want you to see, at least, the cover illustration to make my point.

The Friendly Beasts is an old English Christmas Carol, with individual verses presented in the voice of one of the animals who gave "of himself or herself" to the Christ Child. Whether it was the hay for the manger, the wool for the Baby Jesus' blanket, the ride up the hill on its back, or the cooing lullaby that put Jesus to sleep that wonderful night, each animal gave a gift of his own. So, too, each of us has some gift to give to others; no two people have the same gift, nor can the two people give in the same way.

Every animal (beast) gave to the baby, a gift of himself. Each beast's gift is sung in a verse of this song. For the young child who already dabbles in reading music, there is one page of sheet music to play this song.

Artistically illustrated, the paintings for this book were done on handmade water color paper; the artist used transparent inks for the paintings, and hand lettered the type. This book was illustrated 29 years ago, but remains to be a classic. Give it a look!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pauline J. Alama on December 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is an eyeful! Tomie dePaola's gorgeous illustrations to this simple story have a sort of pre-Raphaelite glow to them, and the animals' faces seem almost soulful. I also appreciated the music in the back that enabled me to sing the words rather than simply telling them. Reading the book to a one-year-old, I would prefer that more of the pictures actually show the baby Jesus rather than implying his presence, which is a little hard to explain to a very young child. But all in all, it's a lovely Christmas book for children and lovers of Christmas carols alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bronwyn Willett on January 15, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved the pictures. My son (7 y.o.) read the book in school and asked for it for a Christmas present. I am very pleased

Great for all ages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paula Kaminski on February 27, 2013
Format: School & Library Binding Verified Purchase
My favorite Christmas carol that I sing to my horses all year long. I put this book out at Christmas and guests to Mg home enjoy reading it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is such a lovely book. I bought it for my daughter for Christmas. It got here on Christmas Eve, just in time for her bed time story after putting Santa's cookies out. The illustrations are beautiful. And I love that the music is at the back of the book. This is a treasure for any family to add to their home library.
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