|Virginia O'Hanlan 1895|
Have you been watching the Macy's and Make-a-Wish Foundation version of Yes, Virginia since it came out in 2009? It's adorable! The book was made first, and is definitely on my collection list. The book and movie are based on the story of Virginia O'Hanlon writing to NYC's major newspaper, The Sun, in 1897, and has been popping in to pop culture since.
Among others, there is a 1974 made-for-TV Emmy-winning movie Yes, Virginia There Is a Santa Claus (which is also known if Finnish as Joulupukki on totta). You can watch it here!
The Happy Elf book and CD is by brilliant musician (and actor) Harry Connick, Jr. If you haven't heard of it, here is a synopsis.Harry also produced and voiced in the movie version. The pace of the movie is a bit slow, but the soundtrack is full of jazz. It makes inclusions that many other movies/books overlook, such as elves of different body types and skin colors, and it sneaks in little details such as that a doll could be going to a girl or a boy. I think of it as a slightly elaborated Rudolph story, but instead of a red nose, Euby the elf is excessively cheerful. Try reading it and listening to the book and CD, or watching the DVD (or Netflix) with a child--probably a child over six, because of its pace and occasional language like "shut up"--and let me know what they think.
Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh and J.otto Seibold is a must-have in the category of heartwarming but funny Christmas books. An unusual and delightful dog has a major misunderstanding, but ends up rejuvenating Santa's Christmas as a stand-in reindeer. There's a movie by Matt Groening, but I think it's a little more for grown-ups with some over-young-heads adult humor snuck in.
I wonder, why do all these plots lean heavily on the premise that Santa (and thereby Christmas, apparently) are in jeopardy? Has there ever been a shortage of parents convincing children that there is an annual gift-giver who is full of love and cheerfulness?
How about you? Are you working in any new books or movies this year?