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I Can't Wait Until Christmas

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Written by Linda Lee Maifair
Illustrator Joe Ewers
Published 1989
Publisher Golden Press
Series A Little Golden Book
ISBN 0307004562

I Can't Wait Until Christmas is a 1989 Sesame Street Little Golden Book featuring Big Bird.

On Thanksgiving Day, Big Bird tells Granny Bird that he can't wait four whole weeks until Christmas. He tells her that he wants a baseball bat for Christmas. Granny Bird remembers that when she was a child, her grandfather made her a beautiful birdhouse, but it was broken a long time ago. Maria helps Big Bird make a new birdhouse for Granny Bird's present.

With three weeks to go, Big Bird is still having a hard time waiting, so he and Mr. Snuffleupagus go to Nickles Department Store to visit Santa Claus. Snuffy sits on Santa's lap -- practically squashing him in the process -- and says that he wants a skateboard for Christmas.

With two weeks to go, Big Bird picks out a Christmas tree. His friends Ernie, Bert, Oscar and The Count help him set up the tree next to his nest.

Christmas is just one week away, and Cookie Monster helps Big Bird make Christmas cookies. He eats all of his cookies, but not to worry -- he'll make more every day until Christmas.

Granny Bird arrives for a visit on the day before Christmas, and they put their presents under the tree. They're both excited, but they manage to wait until Christmas morning to open them. Granny Bird is delighted with the birdhouse that Big Bird made, and Big Bird loves his new baseball bat. Snuffy got his wish, too -- a giant skateboard. Big Bird says that he can't wait until next Christmas!

Reviews

Not waiting until Christmas is only part of the story of I Can't Wait Until Christmas. It's also about love, and cookies, and hanging dirty hubcaps on a tree. It's about doing the dishes, and gluing the shingles. It's about phone calls, and skateboards, and long, skinny presents. It is, in short, an epic -- encompassing the entire human experience, especially the part of human experience that relates to not being able to wait until Christmas.
-- Danny Horn, ToughPigs.com [1]

I've suddenly run into a trend of Christmas books that begin with Thanksgiving and I'm not sure I like that - Christmas is growing bigger all the time! But this isn't a new thing, because the copyright on this book is 1989.

As they finish Thanksgiving dinner, Big Bird tells his grandmother that he can hardly wait for Christmas. Four weeks is so long! She tells him about the gift she most treasured and, when he returns home, Big Bird gets Maria to help him build a birdhouse just like the one she described. Each week, Big Bird asks how much longer it is until Christmas and each week he repeats that he can hardly wait. He fills his time by following his grandmother's suggestions to visit Santa, decorate a tree and other holiday preparations. When the big day finally arrives, Big Bird gets everything he wants, beginning with a visit from Grandmother!

Author Linda Lee Maifair has done a super job of tapping into the "are we there yet?" way that little children look forward to Christmas. There isn't a child in the world who celebrates Christmas who can't relate to Big Bird's excitement. There's no religious aspect to this tale, which will appeal to some and appall others. Colorful, attractive illustrations by Joe Ewers adds another layer of fun - gifts can be identified despite being wrapped, which is probably every kid's dream; the hunt for a tree with Big Bird's friends is silly and the decorating is funny... Sesame Street, Golden Books and Christmas - what a trio!
-- Anna M. Ligtenberg, (Chicago) [2]


Translations

  • Norway: Jeg gleder meg til jul, 1993, published by Semic, no. 82-535-1546-4

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