Monday, December 18, 2017

The Little Christmas Tree That Could! A Charlie Brown Christmas Charles Schulz, creator, adapted by Maggie Testo.

"There must be something wrong with me, Linus," Charlie Brown told his friend.

"Christmas is coming, but I'm not happy. I just don't understand Christmas, I guess.

I always end up feeling depressed."

But Linus is not one given to overthinking his holidays.

"You're the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem, Charlie Brown," he says.

And all of Charlie Brown's friends have a different take on how to lose the Christmas blues.

Charlie consults Lucy (The Doctor Is IN) at her psychology booth. Lucy always has an angle, and she advises that he get "involved" in the season by directing their Christmas play.  Sister Sally tries to enlist C. B. in helping her with her extensive Christmas list. Snoopy invites him to help him win the neighborhood Christmas lights contest, beginning with his doghouse. Good grief.

"My own dog has gone commercial!" Charlie Brown groans.

Charlie Brown shows up for the first rehearsal of the Christmas play, declaring that this play is not going to be commercial. To make sure, he puts himself in charge of the Christmas tree, which he is determines will NOT be a garishly over-glitzed mega-tree. But when he shops for the tree, he comes up with a rather scraggly specimen. Linus is not pleased with the purchase at first. But after rehearsing his lines for a while, Linus comes to a new understanding of what Christmas is all about.

"It's not a bad tree," said Linus. "It just needs a little love."

And a little love is what it's all about, in the newly revised version of Charles Schulz' classic story, A Charlie Brown Christmas: Deluxe Edition (Peanuts) (Simon and Schuster, 2017). The script of the beloved television special is retold lovingly in full in a new and nicely illustrated version with the artwork by Vicki Scott. This special holiday edition, meant for gift-giving, offers thoughtful children a way to think about the reason for the season. Share this one with Tomie dePaola's similarly-themed Christmas classic, Merry Christmas, Strega Nona.For as Strega Nona says, "Christmas has a magic of its own."



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