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  • List Price: $16.95
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Kangaroo for Christmas Hardcover – September 20, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Flora: James ("Jim") Flora was a famous commercial artist from the 1940s through the 1980s. He wrote and illustrated 17 books for young readers, starting with The Fabulous Firework Family in 1955. The Day the Cow Sneezed, his second book, was published in 1957. This is the first time the book has been reprinted.

Flora was born in the small town of Bellefontaine, Ohio, in 1914. "At that time," he recalled, "there were no televisions, radios, dishwashers, or jet planes. There were a lot of horses but very few automobiles." He attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he met his future wife, artist Jane Sinnicksen. The Floras moved to Connecticut in 1942 when Jim accepted a job in the art department of Columbia Records.

Flora and Jane had five children. "Jane and I loved children," said Flora, "and together we welcomed each of them with cheers for the bright new life we had created. What we had really done, however, was to create an efficient new testing panel for my stories. Most nights when I put the children to bed I would make up stories for them. Whatever would pop into my mind became the basis for a bedtime tale. I would always know that I had the ingredients of a book when my children would ask me to repeat a story."

Flora enjoyed a lengthy career as a commercial illustrator for magazines, newspapers, advertising, and books. He was a lifelong fan of jazz and classical music and was renowned for creating wild illustrations for Columbia and RCA Victor records in the 1940s and '50s. He also created hundreds of fine art paintings, sketches, and woodcuts.

Flora passed away at his home in Rowayton, Connecticut, in 1998.

Information about Flora's life and artistic work can be found at JimFlora.com.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books; Reprint edition (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592701132
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592701131
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.5 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #748,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME on August 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Researchers constantly find that reading to children is valuable in a variety of ways, not least of which are instilling a love of reading and improved reading skills. With better parent-child bonding from reading, your child will also be more emotionally secure and able to relate better to others. Intellectual performance will expand as well. Spending time together watching television fails as a substitute.
To help other parents apply this advice, as a parent of four I consulted an expert, our youngest child, and asked her to share with me her favorite books that were read to her as a young child. Kangaroo for Christmas was one of her picks.
On the day before Christmas, an express truck left a large box on the porch. On the box was a card that said, "MERRY CHRISTMAS TO KATHRYN FROM UNCLE DINGO." Kathryn hoped it was full of candy. She saw something brown and fuzzy move inside. It was too big to be a kitty cat. She and her Daddy opened the box and out hopped a large kangaroo. Kathryn is thrilled. She calls the kangaroo Adelaide and decides to make Adelaide her best friend.
Then Kathryn decided to visit Grandma to introduce her to Adelaide. Kathryn jumped on Adelaide's back, and went for the wildest ride ever! After many near disasters, they got to Grandma's house where they slowed Adelaide down when she stepped in Grandma's candy and got stuck. Attaching Adelaide to the top of Grandma's car, they hopped home. There Kathryn and Adelaide got a good night's sleep. Adelaide got some boots for the winter and birch leaves to eat from Santa Claus. Kathryn got a pogo stock so she would never have to ride on Adelaide's back again.
This is a great bonding story because Kathryn needs help from her Grandma and her Daddy to handle Adelaide.
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Format: Hardcover
It's Christmas time, the snow is softly falling, and sweet Kathryn has just received a rather large delivery from her Uncle Dingo. When her daddy carries that box into their house, an exuberant kangaroo hops out and starts knocking over furniture. Kathryn names her Adelaide and gives her a good brushing while her dad calmly sits down to read his paper. Either this gift is less alarming than I would have thought or Kathryn's dad has had one too many eggnogs.

Kathryn and Adelaide are happily skipping through town on the way to Grandmother's house when a ferocious dog erupts with loud barks. Alarmed, Adelaide starts hopping faster and faster, weaving into traffic, through the Zwickys' apartment, and into the grocery store. Sausages flying, they bounce into the bakery and careen through the toy shop, where those big kangaroo feet mistakenly slide into a pair of roller skates. With one giant leap, the pair leap high above the houses, skating along telephone wires through the falling flakes. At least from there, they are able to spot Grandma's house.

Grandma does not seem surprised at all by the appearance of her granddaughter riding a kangaroo. On the way down, Adelaide skips through a batch of taffy that was cooling on her front porch, and is now stuck firmly to the roof of Grandma's car. No problem, she'll just drive her home that way. Although Adelaide is stuck fast, she hops with enough power to lift the whole car. One eventful, but accident free ride and they arrive home safely. Santa Claus brings soft boots for Adelaide's aching feet and they finish up the holidays quietly.

This book is very much in the same style as Flora's first book.
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Format: Hardcover
I love the art and wit of Jim Flora. This is a loving reproduction of his early 1960s childrens book. I had an instant flashback to the books I got from the library when I was just learning to read. If you're a fan of Flora's quirky, cartoony album covers of the 40s and 50s--or love the mid-century whimsy of Sendak or Mary Blair, this book will resonate with you. Great for the illustration nerd, the children's literature lover, or the grandparent who wants to share a bit of their own growing-up years.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a gift, the lovely book by James Flora, Kangaroo for Christmas, is certainly an improvement on the obligatory pair of socks or soap-on-a-rope.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A Christmas present to a household of children who I know will love this book - as will I.
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