So there I was, serenely confident that I’d found all the new book editions of A Charlie Brown Christmas for the year. I’d gotten the ones that were solicited through normal book channels. I’d gotten the one that Hallmark had produced. I’d even gotten the book of stamps! So I’m done, right? Oh, how little I learn from history.
I mean, I stop by a Hallmark shop (I do that less often these days, as the nearest one closed), and there I see their 50th Anniversary edition of A Charlie Brown Christmas… and beside that, another Hallmark 50th Anniversary edition of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Now, this isn’t an all-new edition; it’s a reuse of a book they released three years ago, when they titled it A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, for some reason. That was a book with pop-ups and sound buttons. This new version, in addition to doing away with the word Tree in the title, also does away with the sound buttons… but in return gives you three additional pop-ups. These aren’t new pages of story; the previous version had spreads without a pop-up, and now, these pop up. The cover is new. The text remains the same, except that the new text has Linus’s speech, which the original handles via a sound button. The cover price is $19.95.
And then, realizing that not all of you might have easy access to a Hallmark store, I check on line to see if you can mail order it, and yes you can. But while I was there, I also discovered that this year brings another Hallmark Peanuts Christmas book, one that I’d not run across at either of the Hallmark shops I’ve stopped at this season! Peanuts Presents: The Very First Christmas is not, it appears, an adaptation of A Charlie Brown Christmas… but it may be the sequel, the actual play that the kids were going to stage in that show, I suppose. (The cover has Franklin, who wasn’t in the TV special because he hadn’t even appeared in the strip yet, but hey, continuity is the hobgoblin of the 1980s band Simple Minds! And besides, Franklin appears here as as wise man, and is also on some Christmas statuary they had at the Hallmark store as one of the three wise men, so I suppose this is part of a coordinated effort. Does he have gold? Frankincense? Myrrh? How wise a man can he be if he brings a child myrrh? I mean, I’ve seen dozens of wish lists for baby showers, and not once has an expectant mother said “you know what I really need for my impending child? Myrrh!” But I digress.) Anyway, this book is an interactive item – it plays music when you put the enclosed figures into a book scene. I should have mine in about a week, and will be able to explain it better then, but if you want yours, here is where you can order it.