'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 18 December 2011

Review: The Gift of the Magi

If you are looking for a Christmas story that doesn’t feature either a nativity or Santa, The Gift of the Magi is a story that reinforces the value of selfless giving. This classic story by O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) shares the story of Jim and Della as they seek to show their love for each other in a special Christmas gift despite their poverty.

Hard times have hit the Dillingham Young family. Earning only $20 per week, Jim and his wife Della can barely make ends meet and certainly can’t afford to buy each other expensive gifts for Christmas. Despite this, they each want to find the perfect gift to show their love.

In a beautiful tragedy, each sacrifices something the other treasures in order to earn the money to purchase a gift. The author refers to them as ‘two foolish children’ for doing so, but also describes them as wise, for they understood the value of love and showing their love to each other.

The language of this story is formal, but the message is one that can be understood by children as well as adults. The illustrations in this edition are beautifully suited to the story, capturing the feeling of the relationship between Della and Jim in this classic story first published over 100 years ago.

Title: The Gift of the Magi
Author: O Henry
Illustrator: P J Lynch
Publisher: Walker Books, $27.95 RRP
Publication Date: 28 September 2008
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9781844280384
For ages: 6+ years
Type: Picture book