I’m confused by A Charlie Brown Christmas

Animated Peanuts

I stopped by a local Hallmark store knowing that it was about time for Christmas books to surface, and there I saw it, a new book edition of A Charlie Brown Christmas… or at least that’s what I thought. I did not recognize this colorful edition. Then I opened it and found, to my surprise, a 2018 copyright date.

Was I wrong? Was this an edition that came out last year, that I somehow missed… or, worse yet, am I forgetting one of the most important thing in life, that being all of the dozens of book adaptations of A Charlie Brown Christmas that one owns?

So I checked the Hallmark website, and there it was, listed as a new book. So I take their word for it. It’s new. But then, why the year old copyright date?

Here’s the thing: Hallmark did not have a new book edition of A Charlie Brown Christmas last year. Now, they don’t have one every year, but they come pretty close. So my guess is that this book was actually intended for last year. Perhaps there was some printing of shipping delay that kept this meant-for-2018 book from coming out on time. And it’s not the sort of thing that you can release whenever you get it, a few months late, you gotta save it for this Christmas Shopping Season.

The book is in standard children’s storybook style, with most pages having an image up top, text on the bottom. The art is by Rich LaPierre, in the same very-Schulzy-but-colored-lines style that we’ve seen in his other recent Peanuts books, and is well-done. The adaptation by Kara Gooder does a good job of summing up the special in 22 pages.

It is a pop-up book… and yes, in line with some other recent Hallmark books, that means a pop-up, one at the very end.

Has this book earned its place on my guide to book adaptations of A Charlie Brown Christmas? Of course it has – all adaptations do, we do not discriminate here (although it may take me a couple days to place it there, life is hectic.) But I think this is a good example, and fits its format well. The book is rolling out at Hallmark stores this week, and is available for online ordering now.

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