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The Bird's Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggin, Fiction, Historical, United States, People & Places, Readers - Chapter Books

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. . . . drew the baby closer, and listened to the voices outside brimming with joy: -Carol, brothers, carol, Carol joyfully, Carol the good tidings, Carol merrily!- -Why, my baby, - whispered Mrs. Bird in soft surprise, -I had forgotten what day it was. You are a little Christmas child, and we will name you 'Carol' -- mother's little Christmas Carol!- Kate Douglas Wiggin ( . . . . drew the baby closer, and listened to the voices outside brimming with joy: -Carol, brothers, carol, Carol joyfully, Carol the good tidings, Carol merrily!- -Why, my baby, - whispered Mrs. Bird in soft surprise, -I had forgotten what day it was. You are a little Christmas child, and we will name you 'Carol' -- mother's little Christmas Carol!- Kate Douglas Wiggin (1856-1923), author of such works as Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Penelope's English Experiences and A Village Stradivarius, was one of America's most popular writers of books for young people.


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. . . . drew the baby closer, and listened to the voices outside brimming with joy: -Carol, brothers, carol, Carol joyfully, Carol the good tidings, Carol merrily!- -Why, my baby, - whispered Mrs. Bird in soft surprise, -I had forgotten what day it was. You are a little Christmas child, and we will name you 'Carol' -- mother's little Christmas Carol!- Kate Douglas Wiggin ( . . . . drew the baby closer, and listened to the voices outside brimming with joy: -Carol, brothers, carol, Carol joyfully, Carol the good tidings, Carol merrily!- -Why, my baby, - whispered Mrs. Bird in soft surprise, -I had forgotten what day it was. You are a little Christmas child, and we will name you 'Carol' -- mother's little Christmas Carol!- Kate Douglas Wiggin (1856-1923), author of such works as Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Penelope's English Experiences and A Village Stradivarius, was one of America's most popular writers of books for young people.

30 review for The Bird's Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggin, Fiction, Historical, United States, People & Places, Readers - Chapter Books

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I’d like to thank my Goodreads friend Nancy for directing me to this one. What a sweet novella, and a classic, written in 1887. Carol Bird is a sickly eleven-year-old who was born on Christmas Day. She is humbled to share a birthday with Jesus Christ and has a good handle on the true meaning of Christmas. She wants nothing more for Christmas than to do something nice for the nine Ruggles children next store who have very little of their own. In the world we live in today it is such a pleasure to I’d like to thank my Goodreads friend Nancy for directing me to this one. What a sweet novella, and a classic, written in 1887. Carol Bird is a sickly eleven-year-old who was born on Christmas Day. She is humbled to share a birthday with Jesus Christ and has a good handle on the true meaning of Christmas. She wants nothing more for Christmas than to do something nice for the nine Ruggles children next store who have very little of their own. In the world we live in today it is such a pleasure to be able to escape back to the days of old when Christmas was celebrated to honor the true significance of the date. Ms. Wiggin writes with beautiful imagery, substance, and poignancy to craft a magnificent Christmas story. Recommended for all, including young readers.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Manybooks

    I have truly and with some major personal effort now twice tried to appreciate (and even enjoy) Kate Douglas Wiggin's 1886 novel The Birds' Christmas Carol (and have always been more than well aware of before even commencing my reads what kind of fiction The Birds' Christmas Carol is supposed to represent). However, and the above all having been said, the entire concept of the "ministering angel" (the fragile and often in fact continuously bedridden girl who although an invalid makes life beauti I have truly and with some major personal effort now twice tried to appreciate (and even enjoy) Kate Douglas Wiggin's 1886 novel The Birds' Christmas Carol (and have always been more than well aware of before even commencing my reads what kind of fiction The Birds' Christmas Carol is supposed to represent). However, and the above all having been said, the entire concept of the "ministering angel" (the fragile and often in fact continuously bedridden girl who although an invalid makes life beautiful, sweet and fulfilling for friends and neighbours before dying in a state of divine grace) is and always has been just a bit too overt and massively heavy-handedly preachy for me. And while with other message-heavy 19th century children's authors (such as with as Louisa May Alcott, for example), the plot, the characters, the scenarios, the themes presented are more often than not still interesting enough and nuanced enough in and of themselves to at least partially ignore and mitigate the at times heavy moralising, I just am not able to do this at all for The Birds' Christmas Carol (which is actually not a horrible story for its time period, but also just so dated and so chock full of morality and preachiness that I would generally ONLY recommend it to potential readers who are seriously interested in 19th century girls dying young and virtuous type of classic children's fiction on an academic, analytical level). Two stars, but rounded down to but one star, even though I do indeed both understand and yes realise that The Birds' Christmas Carol is a product of its time, and part and parcel of a very specific children's literature type (but I have personally just not at all enjoyed this book, and I in fact do tend to find reading The Birds’ Christmas Carol rather like enduring fingernails being run down a chalkboard).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I read this book every Christmas and this is the edition I own; it was my grandmother's and my mother's before it was mine. This edition has 69 pages, so quick read that never fails to tear me up. It is a sweet, old-fashioned story. They don't write them like this anymore.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Markus

    They had intended to name the baby Lucy, if it were a girl; but they hadn't expected her on Christmas morning, and a real Christmas baby was not to be lightly named -- the whole family agreed in that. They were consulting about it in the nursery. Mr. Bird said that he had assisted in naming the three boys, and that he should leave this matter entirely to Mrs. Bird. ...Uncle Jack said that the first girl should always be named for her mother, no matter how hideous the name happened to be. Surprisin They had intended to name the baby Lucy, if it were a girl; but they hadn't expected her on Christmas morning, and a real Christmas baby was not to be lightly named -- the whole family agreed in that. They were consulting about it in the nursery. Mr. Bird said that he had assisted in naming the three boys, and that he should leave this matter entirely to Mrs. Bird. ...Uncle Jack said that the first girl should always be named for her mother, no matter how hideous the name happened to be. Surprisingly adorable, considering its subtitle ought to be "A Tale From Preachytown, by Sermon McGodsalot." I had to ding it a star for having a very long section in the middle consisting of nothing but dialogue supposedly representing how thems thar pore peeple tocks in 19th-century New England. (Think Little Women, only scarier. And don't look at me like that -- I love Little Women. But Hannah's dialogue makes me bleed from both eyeballs.) Spoiler-laden summary: (view spoiler)[Angelic white girl is born on Christmas day, sustains a nonspecific crippling illness in her early childhood, is nice to poor people for a day, and dies just in time to ruin the New Year for her family. (hide spoiler)]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This brings back a treasured memory for me. One Christmas Eve when I could not get to sleep I wandered into another room to find my older sister and mom wrapping Christmas presents. My mom pulled out this book, The Bird's Christmas Carol and we spent the next two hours listening to her read this bittersweet tale. By four a.m. all three of us had dissolved into tears. This book does remind me of a Dickens novel although it does not have any evil characters as is typical of his books. It is utterl This brings back a treasured memory for me. One Christmas Eve when I could not get to sleep I wandered into another room to find my older sister and mom wrapping Christmas presents. My mom pulled out this book, The Bird's Christmas Carol and we spent the next two hours listening to her read this bittersweet tale. By four a.m. all three of us had dissolved into tears. This book does remind me of a Dickens novel although it does not have any evil characters as is typical of his books. It is utterly sappy and Carol, the title character, is impossibly saint-like but in the wee hours of Christmas morning it makes for a perfect read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    This Victorian novella was kept from being too sentimental by its sly humor and the presence of the rambunctious Ruggles family. I enjoyed the sweet family relationships. A nice story to read during the Christmas season.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tarissa

    My new favorite Christmas story!! Truly, I'd recommend it to all ages. The story is simple, created for children, but it's one of those tales that any age could be warmed by the morals upheld. "It was very early Christmas morning, and in the stillness of the dawn, with the soft snow falling on the house-tops, a little child was born in the Bird household...." Carol Bird is a Christmas child. She grows up, even sickly and bedridden, always honoring Christ on His birthday first, even though it is he My new favorite Christmas story!! Truly, I'd recommend it to all ages. The story is simple, created for children, but it's one of those tales that any age could be warmed by the morals upheld. "It was very early Christmas morning, and in the stillness of the dawn, with the soft snow falling on the house-tops, a little child was born in the Bird household...." Carol Bird is a Christmas child. She grows up, even sickly and bedridden, always honoring Christ on His birthday first, even though it is her birthday as well. This little girl displays so sweetly the true meaning of the holiday, giving as much of herself as she can manage. Such a bittersweet story, sure to capture the reader's heart. "The Birds' Christmas Carol" was written in 1886 by American authoress, Kate Douglas Wiggin. This is a tale that has stood the test of time, and is still relevant today.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    “Carol, brothers, carol, Carol joyfully...” A baby girl who was to be named Lucy was born on Christmas morning, and that song sung by the boys’ choir that rang out from the nearby church provided the name for the Bird family’s new daughter. She was a sickly child who rarely left her room, but she was a sweet, generous soul. The Birds’ Christmas Carol is an old-fashioned short story that was first published in 1886. The style and language takes a bit getting used to, but it grew on me quickl “Carol, brothers, carol, Carol joyfully...” A baby girl who was to be named Lucy was born on Christmas morning, and that song sung by the boys’ choir that rang out from the nearby church provided the name for the Bird family’s new daughter. She was a sickly child who rarely left her room, but she was a sweet, generous soul. The Birds’ Christmas Carol is an old-fashioned short story that was first published in 1886. The style and language takes a bit getting used to, but it grew on me quickly, as it’s a quaint, heartwarming story. At age eleven, Carol decides to forego any gifts for herself and instead, she displays an extraordinary understanding of the true meaning of Christmas. I found myself smiling throughout, especially during the descriptions of the Ruggles children, who have not been blessed with the social standing or material comforts that have been bestowed upon Carol her entire life. Although it is a very simple story, it is one that provides a lasting lesson for us all. 3-1/2 rounded to 4 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Luisa Knight

    From the same author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, comes this heart-wren.... I mean, heart-warmingly sweet tale! Carol Bird was born on Christmas Day. Maybe that's why she loves giving and sharing so much. On her eleventh birthday Carol is so sick she has to stay in bed. But she plans a party that makes it the most special Christmas of all. A sweet, giving, kindhearted tale ... that you might want to have tissues at hand for. It's only sixty-three pages and has illustrations throughout so an idea From the same author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, comes this heart-wren.... I mean, heart-warmingly sweet tale! Carol Bird was born on Christmas Day. Maybe that's why she loves giving and sharing so much. On her eleventh birthday Carol is so sick she has to stay in bed. But she plans a party that makes it the most special Christmas of all. A sweet, giving, kindhearted tale ... that you might want to have tissues at hand for. It's only sixty-three pages and has illustrations throughout so an ideal read-aloud for the holiday season. Ages: 6 -12 Cleanliness: Santa Claus is mentioned and the children believe in him. A child lets out a rebellious howl and the mother decides not to hit her on Christmas day. "Land sakes" "goodness knows" "Land o- goodness" "good gracious" "I declare to goodness" are said. **Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I'm embarrassed to admit that I keep reading this silly, sweet, sentimental book. Also that I cry over it every damn time. It is a very nice book. Like many authors of her time, Wiggin makes good use of that familiar trope, Victorian Too Good To Live Syndrome, so useful for reforming the wicked and reuniting the lost. In this case, of course, there are no really wicked people, only some ordinarily naughty little boys and some grownups who need to pay more attention to the poor; no lost people, on I'm embarrassed to admit that I keep reading this silly, sweet, sentimental book. Also that I cry over it every damn time. It is a very nice book. Like many authors of her time, Wiggin makes good use of that familiar trope, Victorian Too Good To Live Syndrome, so useful for reforming the wicked and reuniting the lost. In this case, of course, there are no really wicked people, only some ordinarily naughty little boys and some grownups who need to pay more attention to the poor; no lost people, only an uncle who needs to come home more often. Well, it's a Christmas book. And no, that's not a spoiler; Wiggin tells you right up front what's gonna happen. What happens in between then and the end is the plot and the good parts. Go ahead, read it, it's a nice book. You'll like it!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Linda Prieskorn

    This is one of my favorite books. I can still remember Mrs Lane standing in front of the class at Slauson and reading it so us as eighth graders. She started to cry and handed the book to Sally Gingles to finish the oral reading. As I remember it the girls cried and the boys rolled their eyes. I was amazed that the toughest teacher at Slauson was so sentimental. By choosing this book, like Mrs Lane, I have ripped off my cynical veil and revealed myself as a schmalzy sentimental weeping old lady. This is one of my favorite books. I can still remember Mrs Lane standing in front of the class at Slauson and reading it so us as eighth graders. She started to cry and handed the book to Sally Gingles to finish the oral reading. As I remember it the girls cried and the boys rolled their eyes. I was amazed that the toughest teacher at Slauson was so sentimental. By choosing this book, like Mrs Lane, I have ripped off my cynical veil and revealed myself as a schmalzy sentimental weeping old lady. Trite as it is it has all the elements of a great Christmas story, right down to the plum pudding. The Ruggles in the rear are the pinnacle of this story. Yes.. I love this story, I will always love this story and I will weep and blubber every time I read it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This was a short sweet, tender novella. It brought tears to my eyes. Carol was born on Christmas, and brought joy to all around her. She became ill, and was bed ridden, but she shared all she had with others. There was a large family with nine children, living behind her families large home. Carol read books to them, and she shared her hundreds of books. She invited the nine children to her home for a Christmas dinner, and bought presents for each of them, with money she had earned, and her fami This was a short sweet, tender novella. It brought tears to my eyes. Carol was born on Christmas, and brought joy to all around her. She became ill, and was bed ridden, but she shared all she had with others. There was a large family with nine children, living behind her families large home. Carol read books to them, and she shared her hundreds of books. She invited the nine children to her home for a Christmas dinner, and bought presents for each of them, with money she had earned, and her family added to it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I love this book and I read it every Christmas. My aunt read it to me as a child. I bet I have given out 50 or more copies of this book. Read it this Christmas

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    The Birds' Christmas Carol is a novel by Kate Douglas Wiggin printed privately in 1886 and published in 1888, I'm not entirely sure what that means, but that's what it says. It had illustrations originally, but my copy didn't which makes me mad. A little. This is one of those puzzling things I've learned about the author: Kate Douglas Wiggin was an American educator and author of children's stories, most notably the classic children's novel Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. She started the first free k The Birds' Christmas Carol is a novel by Kate Douglas Wiggin printed privately in 1886 and published in 1888, I'm not entirely sure what that means, but that's what it says. It had illustrations originally, but my copy didn't which makes me mad. A little. This is one of those puzzling things I've learned about the author: Kate Douglas Wiggin was an American educator and author of children's stories, most notably the classic children's novel Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. She started the first free kindergarten in San Francisco in 1878 (the Silver Street Free Kindergarten). With her sister during the 1880s, she also established a training school for kindergarten teachers. Kate Wiggin devoted her adult life to the welfare of children in an era when children were commonly thought of as cheap labor. Wiggin went to California to study kindergarten methods. Now, how did she go to California to study kindergarten methods if she started the first kindergarten in San Francisco? Maybe it was the first free kindergarten she started and the rest cost something,or maybe California has them, but San Francisco itself doesn't, I don't know. At any rate she seemed to love kindergartens because her and her sister were instrumental in the establishment of over 60 kindergartens for the poor in San Francisco and Oakland. There must have been an awful lot of children in San Francisco and Oakland. In between all the kindergarten work she wrote books, some of them children's books, some of them for adults. The one I just read is The Birds' Christmas Carol, whether it's a child's book or an adult's book I have no idea, it seems a little depressing for kids. The book isn't about birds, you know the kind that have feathers and fly around, it's about a family with the last name of Bird. Mostly it's a book about one girl, Carol Bird. The book begins on Christmas day: "It was very early Christmas morning, and in the stillness of the dawn, with the soft snow falling on the house-tops, a little child was born in the Bird household. They had intended to name the baby Lucy, if it were a girl; but they had not expected her on Christmas morning, and a real Christmas baby was not to be lightly named—the whole family agreed in that." No, it had to be a special name for a special day. It had to be settled early in the day because Mrs. Bird never allowed her babies to go over night unnamed. We're told she would have blushed at such a thing, and that to let blessed babies go about without names for months was enough to ruin them for life. I don't know why anyone wouldn't name their baby for months, but I also don't know why this would ruin their life either. So the entire family was trying to think of the perfect name for the new baby, the first girl. And then this happens: Meanwhile dear Mrs. Bird lay in her room, weak, but safe and happy, with her sweet girl baby by her side and the heaven of motherhood opening again before her. Nurse was making gruel in the kitchen, and the room was dim and quiet. There was a cheerful open fire in the grate, but though the shutters were closed, the side windows that looked out on the Church of Our Saviour, next door, were a little open. Suddenly a sound of music poured out into the bright air and drifted into the chamber. It was the boy choir singing Christmas anthems. Higher and higher rose the clear, fresh voices, full of hope and cheer, as children's voices always are. Fuller and fuller grew the burst of melody as one glad strain fell upon another in joyful harmony:— "Carol, brothers, carol, Carol joyfully, Carol the good tidings, Carol merrily! And pray a gladsome Christmas For all your fellow-men: Carol, brothers, carol, Christmas Day again." One verse followed another, always with the same sweet refrain:— "And pray a gladsome Christmas For all your fellow-men: Carol, brothers, carol, Christmas Day again." Mrs. Bird thought, as the music floated in upon her gentle sleep, that she had slipped into heaven with her new baby, and that the angels were bidding them welcome. But the tiny bundle by her side stirred a little, and though it was scarcely more than the ruffling of a feather, she awoke; for the mother-ear is so close to the heart that it can hear the faintest whisper of a child. She opened her eyes and drew the baby closer. It looked like a rose dipped in milk, she thought, this pink and white blossom of girlhood, or like a pink cherub, with its halo of pale yellow hair, finer than floss silk. "Carol, brothers, carol, Carol joyfully, Carol the good tidings, Carol merrily!" The voices were brimming over with joy. "Why, my baby," whispered Mrs. Bird in soft surprise, "I had forgotten what day it was. You are a little Christmas child, and we will name you 'Carol'—mother's Christmas Carol!" "What!" said Mr. Bird, coming in softly and closing the door behind him. "Why, Donald, don't you think 'Carol' is a sweet name for a Christmas baby? It came to me just a moment ago in the singing, as I was lying here half asleep and half awake." "I think it is a charming name, dear heart, and sounds just like you, and I hope that, being a girl, this baby has some chance of being as lovely as her mother;"—at which speech from the baby's papa Mrs. Bird, though she was as weak and tired as she could be, blushed with happiness. And so Carol came by her name. Now after this, every single minute we spend with Carol reminds me of a character from a Dickens novel, Little Nell. Little Nell was perfect and so is Carol: Perhaps because she was born in holiday time, Carol was a very happy baby. Of course, she was too tiny to understand the joy of Christmas-tide, but people say there is everything in a good beginning, and she may have breathed in unconsciously the fragrance of evergreens and holiday dinners; while the peals of sleigh-bells and the laughter of happy children may have fallen upon her baby ears and wakened in them a glad surprise at the merry world she had come to live in. Her cheeks and lips were as red as holly-berries; her hair was for all the world the color of a Christmas candle-flame; her eyes were bright as stars; her laugh like a chime of Christmas-bells, and her tiny hands forever outstretched in giving. Such a generous little creature you never saw! A spoonful of bread and milk had always to be taken by Mamma or nurse before Carol could enjoy her supper; whatever bit of cake or sweetmeat found its way into her pretty fingers was straightway broken in half to be shared with Donald, Paul, or Hugh; and when they made believe nibble the morsel with affected enjoyment, she would clap her hands and crow with delight. "Why does she do it?" asked Donald thoughtfully. "None of us boys ever did." "I hardly know," said Mamma, catching her darling to her heart, "except that she is a little Christmas child, and so she has a tiny share of the blessedest birthday the world ever knew!" But in our next chapter we are ten years from the events in the first chapter, and though Carol is still that perfect child, always giving her gifts to the neighbor children even before it was time to eat their Christmas dinner kind of thing, she is not quite the merry child she used to be: But Christmas in the Birds' Nest was scarcely as merry now as it used to be in the bygone years, for the little child, that once brought such an added blessing to the day, lay month after month a patient, helpless invalid, in the room where she was born. She had never been very strong in body, and it was with a pang of terror her mother and father noticed, soon after she was five years old, that she began to limp, ever so slightly; to complain too often of weariness, and to nestle close to her mother, saying she "would rather not go out to play, please." Most of the book from here is about Carol wanting to give a Christmas party for the Ruggles children, nine children from a poor working class family living next to the Birds that Carol can watch from her window every day. As for the rest, well you can probably figure that out without even reading the book, but go ahead and read it anyway. Especially if you are a fan of Little Nell. Happy reading.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    I had an attractive old edition of this story and I read it twice. Both times left me feeling disappointed and even a little irritated. I may have stashed the book out of sight, but maybe I just got rid of it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Juergen John Roscher

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I found an older book with several classic Christmas stories that included “The Bird’s Christmas Carol” by Kate Douglas Wiggins, so I did a little research on the story. This story was first introduced by Wiggins in 1887 and became very popular during the first part of a 20th Century. It was used in elementary schools to teach children to help and sacrifice for others especially during the Christmas season. I decided that this should be one of the Christmas stories that I read this year. This sho I found an older book with several classic Christmas stories that included “The Bird’s Christmas Carol” by Kate Douglas Wiggins, so I did a little research on the story. This story was first introduced by Wiggins in 1887 and became very popular during the first part of a 20th Century. It was used in elementary schools to teach children to help and sacrifice for others especially during the Christmas season. I decided that this should be one of the Christmas stories that I read this year. This short Christmas story is about a young girl who was born on Christmas Day and was given the name of Carol after her mother heard a Christmas Carol. She became ill at a young age and her health started to decline. She was innocent and loving child that was blessed with great parents and a loving family. As her health continued to decline she had only one desire for Christmas, that she have a Christmas feast and celebration with the large, poor family that lived next to her, the Ruggleses. She works with her mother to earn money and sacrificed part of her own Christmas gifts to buy Christmas gifts for each of the Ruggles children. At the appointed time the Ruggleses came to Carol’s home and had a wonderful feast and then received gifts that Carol had selected for them. It was a wonderful evening for the children especially Carol who was overjoyed to see the excitement and delight of the Ruggleses. That night Carol passed away will listening to Christmas Carols with joy and peace in her heart. I loved how Carol’s mother, Mrs. Bird, looked at Carol’s illness and declining health as a blessing in the home instead of a trial. Mrs. Bird said because of Carol’s health that the boys in the family did not fight or say anything that would distress Carol. The boys loved to study at school and read at home so they could come home and teach Carol the things they learned. Mrs. Bird said that she was a better woman every day because of Carol’s illness. This made me think, am I a better person because of the trials that I face each day? Am I thankful for the trials and tests of life and look at them as blessings? Another thing I learned in this story was that giving is truly giving when it includes an element of sacrifice. Carol gave up part of her Christmas gifts so that she could use the money to get gifts for the Ruggles children. This was a powerful example to me that giving our excess is good but sacrificing is even better. I hope to use this example in my own life when I serve and when I give. I recommend this short story to those who enjoy a good, innocent Christmas story of family, love, sacrifice and serving others.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Kate Douglas Wiggin wrote Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm along with many other book, this little book one of them. A wonderful story of a little girl, Carol, born on Christmas day. I loved it. Kate Douglas Wiggin wrote Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm along with many other book, this little book one of them. A wonderful story of a little girl, Carol, born on Christmas day. I loved it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Connie Harkness

    This book means Christmas to me. It will always be linked with my favorite memories of my mother. One thing not mentioned in the other reviews is the beautiful pictures. I think this book may be what made such a reader out of me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

    Typical Victorian "girl dies young and virtuous" story. Get out the box of Kleenex. I loved it!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Katja

    5+ stars & 6/10 hearts. This is my favourite Christmas story. It’s short, but oh, so beautiful!! It’s got some hilarious moments (the scene in the Ruggleses kitchen—oh my word!!) and some sad parts (the ending

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    Wikipedia says: “In literary and historical analysis, presentism is the anachronistic introduction of present-day ideas and perspectives into depictions or interpretations of the past. Modern historians seek to avoid presentism in their work because they consider it a form of cultural bias, and believe it creates a distorted understanding of their subject matter. The practice of presentism is regarded by some as a common fallacy when writing about the past.” As readers, we have the ability to tak Wikipedia says: “In literary and historical analysis, presentism is the anachronistic introduction of present-day ideas and perspectives into depictions or interpretations of the past. Modern historians seek to avoid presentism in their work because they consider it a form of cultural bias, and believe it creates a distorted understanding of their subject matter. The practice of presentism is regarded by some as a common fallacy when writing about the past.” As readers, we have the ability to take pleasure in the simplicity of this sweet childrens’ tale today if we are able to take a true mental leap back into the past. Otherwise, our 2020 attitudes may prevent us from enjoying this delightful little story.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Books I'm Not Reading

    Oh my word! I picked this up in a free library and I will most definitely be returning it. This must be one of the saddest children's books around. I can't imagine what I would have thought of it reading it as a kid! Heart-breaking! And I don't know whether the author just wanted to write a sad story or that's just how it turned out, but ... sheesh. I'll stick with Dickens.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    A very sweet story which I highly recommend for anyone to read at Christmas.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie Fitzgerald

    This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom. Born on Christmas Day, Carol is the youngest member of the Bird family and the only girl. At age ten, she is gravely ill and confined to her bed, expected not to live much longer. Rather than pitying herself, however, Carol is ever mindful of the needs of others, particularly her next door neighbors, the Ruggles family. On the day that turns out to be her last Christmas, Carol hosts a Christmas party for the Ruggles children, complete with di This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom. Born on Christmas Day, Carol is the youngest member of the Bird family and the only girl. At age ten, she is gravely ill and confined to her bed, expected not to live much longer. Rather than pitying herself, however, Carol is ever mindful of the needs of others, particularly her next door neighbors, the Ruggles family. On the day that turns out to be her last Christmas, Carol hosts a Christmas party for the Ruggles children, complete with dinner and gifts, which the Ruggleses could not have afforded to get for themselves. This is a saccharine holiday story that would make a perfect Hallmark movie. Only two things prevent it from being unbearable - the language, which is beautiful, especially to read aloud, and the characterization of the Ruggles brood, which is both humorous and sweet. The story's message of love and giving is very transparent, and only a reader who has never read a book before would be able to read the first couple of chapters without guessing at the ending. Carol has absolutely no flaws outside of her health problems, and her acts of constant charity with no regard for personal gain are admirable, but not very believable. There is something irritating about a perfect fictional child, even one who is very sick, and I think most kids would find Carol pretty dull, even if they might like to attend her party. The Ruggleses, though, are more down to earth. Like the Herdmans in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, they lack many of the social graces and luxuries Carol has been given, and their reaction to a formal dinner is one of nervousness and confusion. Their mother warns them to use their best manners, but as most children do from time to time, they manage to forget much of what she told them when they're in the moment. Of everything in the story, kids will relate to these characters most closely, which might make them feel irritated, as I did, that Carol looks upon the Ruggleses with such pity. Their is a definite sense of condescension toward the "less fortunate" in this book that somewhat cheapens the holiday spirit of the story. I'm all for promoting selfless giving, but this book takes it to an extreme. Christmas books are, by definition, somewhat hokey, and the strength of the author's writing abilities really makes this a story worth reading, even if the drama of it all is somewhat over the top. Keep tissues on hand, as even the most stoic reader is likely to be moved to tears, but also expect to groan in certain places at Carol's purely perfect behavior and personality. (And please note that for all my complaining, I did give this book five stars on Goodreads. It reads like a classic, and I can forgive it for a lot of its flaws because it's truly a story from another time period, and because it's just so well written.)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bev

    The Birds' Christmas Carol (1886) is a very sweet short novel written by Kate Douglas Wiggin and illustrated by Katharine R. Wireman. It centers around Carol Bird--originally destined to be named Lucy until she arrived unexpectedly on Christmas. She grows to be an exceptionally happy, loving, and generous girl--despite the fact that she is diagnosed with an unspecified illness at age five and is bedridden by the time she is ten. As the story says, "perhaps because she was born in holiday time, c The Birds' Christmas Carol (1886) is a very sweet short novel written by Kate Douglas Wiggin and illustrated by Katharine R. Wireman. It centers around Carol Bird--originally destined to be named Lucy until she arrived unexpectedly on Christmas. She grows to be an exceptionally happy, loving, and generous girl--despite the fact that she is diagnosed with an unspecified illness at age five and is bedridden by the time she is ten. As the story says, "perhaps because she was born in holiday time, carol was a very happy baby...she may have breathed in unconsciously the fragrance of evergreens and holiday dinners; while the peals of sleigh-bells and the laughter of happy children may have fallen upon her baby ears and wakened in them a glad surprise at the merry world she had come to live in." Just by being Carol, she manages to influence her unruly brothers to behave more generously to one another and her entire family learns lessons about the true meaning of Christmas from their very own Christmas Carol. Carol manages to teach her family and readers alike that it really is better to give than to receive. Her fondest wish is to prepare a gala Christmas celebration for the nine Ruggles children who live in a small house behind her own. She finds a way to earn her own money to provide a Christmas dinner that the children will never forget as well as presents the likes of which they have never seen. While the story is primarily a moral tale about a very angelic child with an incredibly giving heart , it also features some very humorous scenes--particularly when the Ruggles matriarch is attempting to prepare her large brood for their first fine social occasion. Even though it is tinged with sadness at the end, this is a truly lovely story--entirely suitable to the Christmas season. Five stars. This was first posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting. Thanks!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I loved this book as a child. I still own my copy, but it's falling apart, so I was thrilled to find out the Kindle edition is free (the book is now public domain). This is basically a very short novella about a little girl who is born on Christmas day, becomes sickly around age five, and dies before she can reach her teens. She spends her entire life bringing joy to her family and doing as much good as a young girl can do from her bedroom (reading to the neighbor children from her balcony, loani I loved this book as a child. I still own my copy, but it's falling apart, so I was thrilled to find out the Kindle edition is free (the book is now public domain). This is basically a very short novella about a little girl who is born on Christmas day, becomes sickly around age five, and dies before she can reach her teens. She spends her entire life bringing joy to her family and doing as much good as a young girl can do from her bedroom (reading to the neighbor children from her balcony, loaning books to the hospital, etc.). What turns out to be her final wish is throwing a grand Christmas dinner party for her neighbors, the Ruggles family, which consists of nine poor Irish children. With a little help from her parents, uncle, and maids, Carol throws the grandest party the children have ever attended, and the last she will ever attend herself. It's kind of a morbidly sad book, but it has a sweet message. I am happy to say I enjoyed it at 27 as much as I did at 10.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alisa

    Sometimes I'm terribly disappointed when I re-read childhood favorites. Thankfully, I was still as delighted with The Birds' Christmas Carol as I was when I was 8-years-old. This is the bittersweet story of the 11th Christmas of Miss Carol Bird, an invalid with a heart of gold. She decides to forego Christmas gifts from her family to make another family's Christmas the best ever. The Ruggleses in the Rear, all nine of them, enjoy an extra-festive Christmas courtesy of Carol. My favorite scene is Sometimes I'm terribly disappointed when I re-read childhood favorites. Thankfully, I was still as delighted with The Birds' Christmas Carol as I was when I was 8-years-old. This is the bittersweet story of the 11th Christmas of Miss Carol Bird, an invalid with a heart of gold. She decides to forego Christmas gifts from her family to make another family's Christmas the best ever. The Ruggleses in the Rear, all nine of them, enjoy an extra-festive Christmas courtesy of Carol. My favorite scene is when Mrs. Ruggles attempts to impart dinner party manners in a brief lesson. As when I was a child, I loved the catalogues of food and gifts. OK, it's schmaltzy, but in a good way, at least for me.

  28. 5 out of 5

    CatholicBibliophagist

    I didn't like this any better than I did when I first read it as a youngster. (view spoiler)[ The Bird's Christmas Carol is one of those moral tales about a saintly child who contracts an unspecified Victorian disease and dies at the end of the story after morally uplifting the lives of everyone around them. I've always liked Victorian Kid Lit, but this one didn't do a thing for me despite its moments of humor. I reread it because I'd recently read Mother Carey's Chickens by the same author, a b I didn't like this any better than I did when I first read it as a youngster. (view spoiler)[ The Bird's Christmas Carol is one of those moral tales about a saintly child who contracts an unspecified Victorian disease and dies at the end of the story after morally uplifting the lives of everyone around them. I've always liked Victorian Kid Lit, but this one didn't do a thing for me despite its moments of humor. I reread it because I'd recently read Mother Carey's Chickens by the same author, a book which I simply loved it. I was hoping that my indifference towards this book had been due to reading it at too young an age. But my first impression hasn't changed. (hide spoiler)]

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ellee

    This was a very "nice" book. A little too moralistic for me as an adult, but I bet I would have liked it as a kid. Nice sentiment, but the heroine is just to saccharine for me. I think I liked to think (as a little girl) that I would be this kind, generous creature, but I also really looked up to Pippi Longstocking and other trouble-making heroines, so who knows.. :)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Sappy? Yes! Melodramatic? Absolutely! Predicatable? Sure, but the better for it. Sometimes it takes a sweet, little book to remind us what is special and dear about the Holiday season. I enjoyed this book, it made me cry and made me appreciate what I have to be thankful for. I'd like to be remembered as a "Christmas Carol!"

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