Miracle on 34th Street

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Nov 2018

Member Reviews

MIRACLE ON 34th Street
Written by Valentine Davies
1947 (reissue: 2018); Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (136 pages)
Genre: holiday, Christmas, classic

(Review Not on Blog)

RATING: 4.5 stars

I wasn't expecting to like this book, as the movie is not one of my favourites, but I really enjoyed it! I liked the characters, plot and writing.  It is a quick read that I will definitely read again.

***I received an eARC from NETGALLEY***
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Susan Leonard Hill did an amazing job of adapting this book originally written by Valentine Davies for a younger audience. The illustrations by James Newman Gray are engaging and help to truly bring this story to life. A story know to most of this generation as the traditional Christmas movie, it’s easy to forget that it was originally a book. ‘Miracle of 34th Street’ brings to life the spirit of Christmas and the magic of Santa. From the tiniest infant to the oldest of elders the magic of Christmas is something we should embrace all of the year. But that glimpse we get at the goodness of people during the holidays is special and endearing.

As an adult reader, and watcher of the move, I am always slightly unhinged at the idea of inviting a perfect stranger to my home for dinner or even to stay with me as Mother and Fred do. Obviously a characterization of a different time in history, a time when this book was originally written. But I like to think of it as an embodiment of the magic of the season. The opening of our hearts and minds to the plights of others. The embracing of the needs and positive aspects of others. I think, in the grand scheme of things, I want the Minions to embrace this. Embrace the idea that in every person, no matter their flaws, there is good. I don’t want them to just hang out of invite over any person they come across! I do want them to always be willing to find that nugget of good in others and nurture it.

During Christmas we all want to open our minds to unlimited possibilities. I know that Santa is not going to bring me the family and home and bedroom of my dreams like he did for Susan. I mean, I d0 have a list of impossible dreams if he wants to take a stab at it! However, I do want the spirit that we embody at this time of year to mirror that of Santa. Finding a way to bring joy and hope to those around us. I mean really, isn’t that what Santa is about? Not the materialistic things we attribute to the gifts he brings up. But the feelings he brings us, hope and joy. As an adult that is what I want the Minions to take away from this book. Valentine gave us a story that defies the generations, spans all of history between then and now and even into the future, about the spirit of Santa. A book that speaks to the young and old. A book that speaks to each person who chooses to embrace it. And that is why I love this book.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
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From childhood, my favorite Christmas film has remained the original Miracle on 34th Street. For this reason alone, it was a surprise to learn that it took so many decades later for a picture book to come out retelling the story of a sensible little girl (and her even more-sensible mother) who learns to believe again when she meets a man who may - or may not - be the real Santa Claus. This book is a delight to just thumb through; James Newman Gray's illustrations greatly reflect the old-fashioned, peaceful beauty of Christmas so prevalent in the original film (only in bright, beautiful purely-Christmas colors here not found in the original film). And while the story has been, of course, greatly pared down to the very basics for a children's picture book, I still felt it a bit lacking especially in the character of Susan's mother - who, in fact, is only called Mother throughout, which for me made the story feel unbalanced, even awkward, when compared to the film I love so much. That said, this beautifully-presented book makes effective use of the small time and space it has to re-tell the story of how Kris Kringle taught a little girl that you must always have faith, even when common sense tells you not to.  3.5/5 stars

NOTE: I received a free ARC of this title via NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
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It's good to read such fun books once in a while. I actually got the chance to read it to my kids and they loved it. Definitely a 10/10!
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‘’Mother says there’s no such thing as Santa Claus or any of the other silly things children are told in make-believe.’’

To hear these words from the mouth of a child is so sad..During my first year as a teacher, back in 2007, one of the very first difficult moments was a child’s exclamation that ‘’we were all idiots’’ because there is no Santa Claus (or Agios Vassilis as we call him in Greece). To my relief, all the other children disagreed but he vehemently insisted. His parents had told him that the entire Christmas story is only an old-fashioned fairytale. Well, what can I say? Idiots are everywhere along with party-poopers.

Miracle on 34th Street is one of the most beloved Christmas stories, especially in the USA, and needs no introduction. Santa Claus has to prove he is actually the real deal because of a grumpy man’s complaints. And a young woman has to learn to believe in magic. The beautiful, moving story that has kept company to generations is brilliantly ‘’revived’’ in this picture book through cozy, vivid illustrations that evoke a warm, traditional feeling and will remind you of all those children’s book that used to be so impressive in their simplicity and elegance. The text and the dialogue are suitable for young children. This is a wonderful way to travel to the old Christmas days when everything was true…

P.S. Needless to say the child’s parents were not the life of the party, I was not sad to see them leave our school as they thought our teaching methods encouraged children to ‘’live in a fantasy world.’’

Many thanks to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.wordpress.com
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Lovely festive Christmas read. Perfect for over the long winter nights. Magical storyline. Great characters that pull it all together
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This is a book full of Christmas spirit.

I know this is the retelling of a classic and that there is even a movie, but I don't know them (maybe because I'm not American). This is the only version of the story I know.

This story comes with some surprises. It is not so universal as many others, due to the mentioning of certain geographical references: New York, Central Park, and Macy's. American children may fell closer to this story.

The main surprise is that Santa Claus goes to court. He has to prove that he's really Santa. And the US Post Office has a decisive role in the judge's verdict.

However, his most important challenge is for him to prove himself to Susan. She's a little girl that only knows the commercial part of Christmas, and doesn't believe in its magic. She doesn't ask him for toys. Although feeling foolish and skeptic, she asks for a family and a home. With a little flame of hope inside her.

This is a story about believing. In Christmas magic. In generosity and kindness, even among strangers. In the joy of pretending and make-believe in childhood. Of believing in Santa. The importance of imagination for children. And faith for adults. Miracles. Believing that the best will happen. And that in the end, true happiness lies, above all, in home and family.

The story is magic and the illustrations by James Newman Gray are amazing! I'm sure children's eyes will wander the exquisite details and bright-colored images.

There is some contrast between the modern Christmas story and the classic illustration style. Although I like the plot, the illustration is the star of this book, starting with the cover. Many people will buy this book enchanted by the amazing cover.

I recommend this book to older children because there is a considerable amount of text and the language, although simple, may not be accessible for younger ones. I'm certain adults will also love it.

I'll leave with two quotes I really liked:

"Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to."

" Make-believe and pretending are what being a child is all about! It’s about imagination. How would you like to make snowballs in the summertime? How would you like to visit the Statue of Liberty in the morning and in the afternoon fly south with a flock of geese?”
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Lovely. A beautiful story, different from the film, telling children the reality of Father Christmas. I liked this book which can be understood easily when read to a young child and later read by the child themselves. Beautiful and appropriate pictures decorate each page.
I received think book from NetGalley and the publisher. This is my voluntary review.
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This book features beautiful illustrations to help tell the classic Christmas story of Santa Claus. One of my favorite illustrations is where Kris is showing Susan the art of making monkey noises. No matter how many times you have read the story or watched the movie, you will find new excitement with this presentation of the story that is going to appeal to both kids and adults alike.
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Beautiful book, with nicely done pictures. 
Its a beautifully done picture book and a nice Christmas story. 
If you are looking for a nice children's Christmas book?
Defiantly give this one a try, its worth a look!
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Stunning and so sweet to read! It was as though the classic movie came to life in the pages of this book. My daughter loved reading this story and it will be read again and again for the holidays. With illustrations that will make us all feel cherry and bright, this book is worth putting out for the holidays.
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This story is based around the lead up to Christmas and whether Father Christmas or Santa Claus really exists.  The book was written in the mid 1940s  by the screen writer for the film that appeared in 1947;.  this version of the book and the enchanting illustrations keeps the wonderful period feel of the story and gives the reader a warm glow, especially at the end.  The film is part of Christmas for many people and the book looks as if it will join that select group of books that are read annually to re-enforce the Christmas spirit.  This really is a wonderful read, especially if you like  family, hope and Santa.
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I have never read the original 34th St. but I really enjoyed this kids version, as did my 5-year old. The illustrations were pretty and the story was really cute. She immediately asked to read the whole thing again. I envision us reading this many more times leading up to Christmas.
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This richly and beautifully illustrated storybook comes out at just the right time.  It is a lovely re-telling of a classic Christmas story and will help little ones you know to anticipate the joys of the season.  Re-discover or enjoy this classic about belief for the first time.

My favorite quotes:

This one for fun:

"How can he know how to speak to everyone?...He must be Santa!" "Darling, that doesn't make him Santa Claus," Mother said.  "I speak French, but that doesn't make me French toast!"

This one as a classic:

"Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to." 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher.
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Miracle on 34th Street is my favorite Christmas Movie and this book did a great retelling of the story. The illustrations in the book were beautiful and colorful. Macy's needs a new Santa and it is up to Susan's Mother to find a new one. She happens upon a man and he fits the bill perfectly. Only thing is he thinks he is the real Kris Kringle aka Santa Claus. It goes on to trying to prove he is Santa. It is a great story of beliving and the spirit of Christmas. I highly recommend this book for your young ones for the Christmas Season.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This is one of my favorite Christmas stories ever.  And I have to give the translator credit because they did a good job translating movie to picture book.  And while they did their job well, you just can’t beat the movie.  The original movie of course, not any other editions.  For this case, the movie is and will always be better.
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Miracle on 34th Street is probably my first book that I’ve read about Santa Claus. In the Netherlands Santa Claus isn’t a big part of Christmas, but since I love Christmas and the premise of Santa Claus I thought I would give it a go. 

This is the storybook edition of this Christmas Classic and I have to admit that the pictures are the best thing about this book. They’re beautiful.

But storywise... Where is the magic? Santa Claus has to defend himself in court?! Just why? I don’t really see the appeal. Maybe to make him more relatable?! Why question his existence in the whole book?

When I think about Santa Claus, I want to read about the elves, the presents, the sleigh and Rudolf! So I’m kinda surprised that this is a classic Christmas story.

I do realize that this is a storybook edition and that the original book is bigger and probably contains more story. So I will check that one out!
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I remember when I was a child watching the 1994 film of the classic Christmas story everyone knows. Now, for the first time ever, everyone's favorite Christmas story is now in a picture book format! When I saw this available to read through NetGalley, I was first surprised that it was never in a picture book format. I was also happy that I get to revisit my childhood once again. I immediately asked for the book and read it as soon as I got it.

Reading through the picture book, it was like reading a timeless story. It is a classic after all and I was happy that it stayed true to the story and feeling we all know and loved. I even noticed that the style of the artwork was one of the classic styles often found in holiday picture books, or at least when I was child. 

As far as my knowledge can go, I am not sure if there has been any other remakes based on the Christmas story since 1994, but I am glad that there is a new picture book that can bring the magical story to today's children and generations to come. It is just one of the many ways to make the holidays feel magical.
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First of all the illustrations are just gorgeous. Rich in detail and they strike just the right tone. In fact, the illustrations are what I really enjoyed about the book.

I can’t imagine how hard it must be to condense a movie into a children’s picture book.  I think if I wasn’t familiar with the movie I would have enjoyed it more. As it stands I found the story rushed and jarring. 

This is one of those rare times where I think the movie is actually better than the book.
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"Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to."

I love the story of Miracle on 34th street. I've enjoyed the movie (original and remake) for years and consider it a must watch every Christmas season.

I was curious how well it would be told without leaving anything out. The book was well done with in both the writing and art style. Definitely one to read this December.

#NetGalley
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