Happy 19th day of December! I have a sweet and silly book to share especially for parents but incredibly loved by young kids probably more. One of the Book and Record sets, this is a Mercer Mayer Christmas edition with his famous “Little Critter” wishing his parents a Merry Christmas by “helping” with all sorts of holiday items. Here is Merry Christmas Mom and Dad by Mercer Mayer, 1975.
The little guy is hoping to make Christmas extra special for his parents so he attempts to help with things like decorating Christmas cookies, but he couldn’t stop tasting them; wrap presents for them, but the tape was too sticky; and even go to sleep right away on Christmas Eve, but he was too excited. It is an adorable and silly look at the childhood “helpfulness” and chock full of tenderhearted sweetness and Christmas anticipation.
If you are familiar with Mayer’s “Little Critter” then you’ll know all the cute and funny things this book contains, but in holiday style. And don’t forget to look for the always present spider and grasshopper that can be spied in every spread.
I have always found Mayer’s “Little Critter” to be odd but adorable. He is an unidentifiable creature that always has great expressions with those big eyes. I love that he so well encapsulates the difficulties and desires of childhood in such a fun illustrated way.
Mercer Mayer is a talented artist with a varied style from these books to his many Giclee Prints. One of the things I love about this particular holiday story’s illustrations is the compositional arrangements. The pages maintain a fresh feel with not bordered scenes paired with bordered ones, that always have a piece or two breaking from the box. There is also a climax of sorts to the story as the family approaches Christmas and there is a full two-page spread that bleeds and contains no text. It is a lovely moment carrying you through to the end.
The LP included in this edition is from the Disneyland Little Golden Book & Record sets. Side 1 has the story and I unfortunately don’t see a credit for the narrator. Side 2 has two songs by Michael & Patty Silversher that accompany the book well.
I hope your Christmas preparations are coming along well, with or without helpful little hands. Books like this serve to remind me of the heart behind the helpfulness, even when it makes things longer and harder. And they make me laugh too!
Follow along our book adventure at 25 Days of Christmas in 2013.