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Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinselby Shirley Climo
Synopses & Reviews
All her life, Tante had heard tales about marvelous happenings on Christmas Eve. Animals might speak aloud. Bees might hum carols, or cocks crow at midnight. Tante wished she could witness a bit of Christmas magic, too.
Everybody loves Christmas at Tante's. The old lady decorates a wonderful tree and makes certain to have something for all who come to visit, be it the nearby village children or the shy animals of the pine forest. The only creatures Tante overlooks are the spiders she has swept out of her cottage while cleaning. But the curious spiders want to come inside and see Tante's tree, too. When a midnight visitor lets them into the old lady's home, they unknowingly spin Tante the very gift she has longed for--a gift that has inspired the draping of tinsel on Christmas trees ever since.
This Old World tale about the warmth and wonder of Christmas will leave children enchanted with the magical possibilities of the season.
This 200-year-old folktale tells the story of Tante, who gives presents to everyone in her small village, from children to the forest animals. But no one can give her what she really longs for. Then one year a special Christmas visitor invites hundreds of curious spiders to Tante's collage, and there they spin glittering webs full of the magic of the season. Full-color illustrations.
About the Author
Shirley Climo's love of folklore began in her childhood and has provided the background for many of her children's books, such as The Korean Cinderella, Magic &Mischief: Tales from Cornwall, A Treasury of Princesses: Princess Tales from Around the World, A Treasury of Mermaids: Mermaid Tales from Around the World, and Someone Saw a Spider: Spider Facts and Folktales, an NCTE Teacher's Choice and Library of Congress Best Children's Book that was originally inspired by her research for Cobweb Christmas. Mrs. Climo and her husband live in Los Altos, California.
"To write children's books always seemed the most wonderful goal in the world to me-and the most natural. My earliest memories are of being rocked in a creaky wicker swing while my mother, a children's book author, tried out various versions of her stories. Long before I could read, I'd begun telling my own tales to anyone willing to listen.
"I grew up, raised three children, a half dozen dogs, a clutch of cats, a horse, and a straggle of chickens. Each new addition provided story-telling material, and many two-legged and four-legged household members found their way into print. Even more important, I found that writing for young people was every bit as wonderful as I had hoped.
"My first book was Piskies, Spriggans and Other Magical Beings, a collection of folklore. My latest book is a revised and newly illustrated edition of Cobweb Christmas. Like the tradition of tinsel itself, the story of the spider's Christmas has become a part of holiday celebrations around the world. Its message of kindness to animals is as fresh today as it was when Cobweb Christmas was first told in Germany over two hundred years ago. In the twenty years between those two books, I've written picture books for the just-in-school set, chapter books for primary readers, story collections and nonfiction for middle grades, novels for preteens, and four retellings of the Cinderella theme — Egyptian, Korean, Irish, and Persian. I seldom stray very far or for very long from the favorite folktales of my childhood.
"A century ago, folklorist Andrew Lang said, "Nobody can write a new fairy tale; you can only mix up the old stories and put the characters into new dresses."
"For me, playing dress-up is fun at any age. "
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