Daily Archives: December 21, 2007

A Child’s Christmas in Wales

Ok, so perhaps this is not strictly poetry, but it’s definitely lyric prose, and by one of the best poets ever:  

A Child’s Christmas in Wales – by Dylan Thomas 

One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.

All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find. In goes my hand into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Mrs. Prothero and the firemen…

For me, Christmas isn’t Christmas without reading this poem/story at least once. My dad read it to me when I was little, and I think it was his love of these words that made me love them too. There are so many different editions out there. I have an old, tiny one with woodcuts by Ellen Raskin that I treasure and that cost less than $2, but I must say that a few years ago I came upon the gorgeous edition with illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman and snapped it up too.

For one of the best treats of the season, go to Salon Audio to hear Dylan Thomas reading A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Gives me the shivers.

Happy Christmas.



Miss Erin has given me a prize:


I am blushing. And first, I must say that this honour is all the better because it comes from Miss Erin, who is a dedicated, creative and powerful blogger herself. Thanks Erin!

Now the masterminds behind this award from The Shameless Lions Writing Circle tell me that I need to pass the prize on, which I am more than happy to do. Here goes:

Big A little a – Kelly Herold’s blog was the first kids lit blog I ever found, and it was a bit like falling down the world’s best rabbit hole into a place I never even knew existed. Her thoughtful reviews, her tremendous efforts as the mind behind The Edge of the Forest, and her wonderful weekend review round-ups all got me wondering whether or not I could try out this blogging thing myself. She does everything well. Thank you to Kelly.

Jen Robsinson’s Book Page – Jen was the first person to leave a comment here at Shelf Elf, and therefore I love her. But of course there is much more to it than that. Jen has to have one of the most people-friendly, inviting blogs out there. She posts like there’s no tomorrow, she finds the coolest little tidbits that bring a smile to my face, and she is completely passionate about children’s literacy. I love her Sunday Afternoon Visits.

Fuse #8 – Ah… the Fuse. Where to begin? She cracks me up. She wears wigs. She talks to her Fuse-y mascot. She writes the LONGEST reviews ever that still manage to be completely brilliant and on the money. She is ever-so-witty and she knows all. Oh, and she does podcasts too. When I grow up into a big blogger, I dream of one day, being like her.

Interactive Reader – Jackie Parker is a fine writer. She’s sharp and insightful, and she doesn’t always review what everyone else is reviewing. I always find new things when I visit her blog, and she asks all the right questions in her author interviews.

A Wrung Sponge – Cloudscome’s blog is like a gorgeous crazy quilt, with all sorts of interesting pieces coming together to make an inspired pattern. She reads diverse texts. I admire her focus on multicultural books, and if ever I need to remember how the world is a beautiful and mysterious place, I head on over for a fresh haiku.

The powerful words of these bloggers – and so many others – make the kidslitosphere tick. If a blog leaves me inspired, curious, excited and a little bit happier to be human, then I know I’ve found something good.