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The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas Hardcover – September 28, 2010


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The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas + Meet the Austins (Austin Family) + The Young Unicorns (Austin Family)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Repackaged, with Weber's full-color spot illustrations to add visual interest, this should make for agreeable, alternative holiday read-aloud. (Kirkus Reviews)

This new edition of a story first published in 1984 includes unobtrusive spot illustrations done in an inviting folk-art style; readers will feel as though they're glimpsing the Austins' very own well-loved ornaments and other holiday memorabilia. Compact trim size further highlights the coziness of the family drama. (Horn Book Magazine)

From the Publisher

To seven-year-old Vicky Austin, the twenty-four days before Christmas are the most wonderful days of the year. She's going to be an angel in the Christmas Pageant. Best of all, Vicky and her brother John and her little sister Suzy do something special every day to celebrate: they hang twinkling lights, make cookies, and wish very hard for snow.

But what if the new baby comes during Christmas and Mother has to go to the hospital? How can they have Christmas without Mother? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374380058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374380052
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Madeleine L'Engle, the popular author of many books for children and adults, has interspersed her writing and teaching career with raising three children, maintaining an apartment in New York and a farmhouse of charming confusion which is called "Crosswicks."

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 8, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Against the backdrop of the approaching Christmas holiday, her role in the church play, and her family's wonderful holiday traditions, young Vicky Austin experiences feelings of rivalry for a sibling not yet born, and whose impending birth threatens to disrupt the holiday. This is a warm, loving book. It is an excellent story for older children, and I would recommend making the reading of it, chapter by chapter, part of a family's preparation for Christmas, like a literary advent calendar
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amy Girguis on November 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
L'Engle's prequel to the Austin Family series extols the virtues of patience and love as a young Vicky waits for the anvent of Christmas and a new baby. Adults and children alike will enjoy savoring the book in anticipation of the holiday. It's a great tool for slowing down the comercialized pace of the season. I'd reccomend the illustrated hardback, but I'm afraid it's out of print!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Camila Kunau on January 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book gives the reader a snapshot into the "lives" of the Austen family during a Christmas season. Seven year-old Vicky recounts the days leading up to Christmas Day, in brief, daily narratives. She shares the Austen family tradition of doing one Special Thing, a creative Christmas activity a day, such as making cookies, hanging wreaths, and setting up the nativity scene. Vicky also was assigned the coveted role of the golden angel in the church Christmas Pageant, arole she is determined to perform well, despite the criticism of her by the director and assistant director. The only concern Vicky has is that her mother will have the new baby before Christmas, and miss having Christmas at home with the family. Who will tuck them in and sing them Christmas Carols unil they fall asleep? To make matters worse, Daddy, the town doctor, is often gone on house calls. When snow starts to fall right before Christmas, Vicky and her older brother, John, worry that Daddy won't make it home before Christmas. And what if Mother has that baby early, without Daddy there?
This is a great part of the Austen series written by Madeleine L'Engle; not to be missed. If there's one negative comment, it's that there are not more Austen stories out there, for devoted fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. McNamara on October 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you love Madeleine L'Engle's books, then this is a definite "must have" for the holidays. Read about the Austin family as they prepare for Christmas, the church pageant, and a new addition to the family. Their warmth and love for each other are contagious, and yet they are a "real" family, growing pains and all. This is a fabulous book for young girls - and one to read every year in preparation for the holiday season.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Georgia M. Seume on November 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my grand daughter who is eight. I thought she might be entertained by Christmas customs that other families had in a different age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrea C. on February 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Madeleine L'Engle's books. This is one of the most juvenile of the bunch, clearly aimed at an audience which will identify with the very young Vicky Austin (7 or 8 years old here). Although this is often simpler, L'Engle's ability to distill basic values without moralizing is as present here as in her work for more mature readers.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of my favorite Christmas stories. I have read it or heard it read each Christmas for as long as I can remember. There is just something special in the sweet simplicity of 7-year-old Vickie Austin telling the story of her special Christmas. Her worries about the Christmas pageant where she has been chosen to be the angel of the Lord, about the possibility of her mother being in the hospital over Christmas, and if there will be any snow, just builds you for the wonderful ending that is sure to leave you with a feeling of peace. Sometimes I read this story several times during one Christmas season. I'm looking forward to reading it over again this year
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