Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 3, 2018

Book Giveaway: Miracle on 34th St. by Valentine Davies

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

For the First Time Ever in Picture Book Format!

For a little girl named Susan, Christmas could be any other day. She doesn’t believe in Santa Claus or magic or miracles of any kind. Then one day she meets Kriss Kringle. As she doubtfully tells him the gifts she most wishes for, deep down Susan finds herself hoping that just maybe, he is the real thing. Based on the original holiday classic, Miracle on 34th Street is a heartwarming story about generosity, imagination, and the spirit of Christmas.

Experience the magic of Valentine Davies’ 70-year-old holiday classic, a heartwarming story about generosity, imagination, and the spirit of Christmas. This picture book is sure to find itself among your most treasured Christmas traditions.\


BOOK JOURNEY:

As I imagine is true for many of you, the heartwarming Miracle On 34th Street was part of my childhood holiday tradition.  A true expression of the holiday spirit, I felt a special connection with it because I lived in New York City, attended the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and knew exactly where West 34th Street was.  That made it feel real and close to home, and I loved watching that old black and white film.

Valentine Davies wrote the screen play and the novella which were released simultaneously in 1947. A re-creation of the 1947 edition was published in 2013 by HMH Books For Young Readers, but there has never been a picture book.  My editor at Sourcebooks realized this and set about seeing if there was a way to do one.  She contacted the Valentine Davies estate and received enthusiastic permission to go ahead with the project.  And then she contacted me and asked me to write it.  Can you imagine the thrill?  The honor?  I was amazed and grateful to be chosen for such a privilege.

Turning the one hour forty-one minute movie into a picture book was a challenge!  As anyone who has seen the movie knows, it’s a complicated story with many characters, layers, and sub-plots.  In addition to having to condense the material to a length that would work for a picture book, there were certain elements of the original story that were not suitable for inclusion in a book for very young children, including the original hired Santa’s alcoholism, and Kris Kringle’s committal to a mental hospital!  It was also necessary to simplify the story a bit with less attention given to various elements such as Mr. Sawyer’s manipulations, Susie’s mother’s trust issues, and some of the courtroom proceedings.

The resulting text is a tad long by picture book standards, and as such is called a “storybook”, but I think (hope!) it conveys the spirit of the timeless tale in a form accessible to young children – that they come away uplifted by the story’s message that “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to,” and that a world of possibility exists if only you allow it to.  James Newman Gray was hired to illustrate, and he did an incredible job of capturing the era of the original…but in color.  I can say without bias since I didn’t do the illustration or design that the book is simply beautiful!  From tasteful sparkles in the cover that look like falling snow, to the snowflake covered endpapers, to the little details of wrapped gifts, holly sprigs, and ribbons that adorn the pages, right down to a “gift tag” in the front, the team that put it together produced a book that will make a treasured holiday present.

SUSANNA’S BIO:

Susanna is the award winning author of more than fifteen books for children, including Punxsutawney Phyllis (A Book List Children’s Pick and Amelia Bloomer Project choice), No Sword Fighting In The House (a Junior Library Guild selection), Can’t Sleep Without Sheep (a Children’s Book of The Month), Not Yet, Rose (a Gold Mom’s Choice Award Winner and an Itabashi Translation Award Finalist), and When Your Lion Needs A Bath(Parents Magazine #1 BoardBook 2017, CYBILS Award Finalist, CBC Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year along with When Your Elephant Has The Sniffles)

Her books have been translated into French, Dutch, German, Japanese, and Chinese. Alphabedtime!(Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Books) and The Moon’s First Friends: How The Moon Met The Astronauts From Apollo 11 (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky) are forthcoming in Spring 2019 with 6 additional titles coming in 2019.  She lives in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley with her husband, children, and two rescue dogs.

Links:

Website: https://susannahill.com/

Blog: https://susannahill.com/blog/

Face Book Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/SusannaLeonardHill

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SusannaLHill

Thank you Susanna for sharing your book and journey with us. It looks like a wonderful picture book. Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. What a great honor Susanna. I love the illustrations and I can’t wait to read the PB version of one of my favorite holiday movies. Great post Kathy. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kathy, thank you so much for sharing Miracle here today! I truly appreciate it!

    Like

  3. This is wonderful, Susanna! So happy for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a great addition to Christmas libraries! Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful holiday book! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Jill! It is a very pretty book, thanks to James Newman Gray! 🙂

      Like

  6. I’m so thrilled to have gotten an advance peek at your new holiday book–it’s marvelous and you are the perfect person to have written it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Miracle on 34th Street is a favorite of mine & I can’t wait to read your adaptation of it. Congratulations, Susanna, on spreading holiday cheer to kids old & young!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The illustrations are beautiful and I love the story. I’m sure Susanna did a spectacular job adapting this. Please let someone else win. I am buried in books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence, Rosi :). Enjoy your avalanche of books!

      Like

  9. What a beautiful book, Susanna! I can’t imagine the task of condensing the story into a picture book! I’m sure it’s fabulous! Congrats! I actually ran across a copy of the original novella at a rummage sale! It sits on my coffee table at Christmas time wrapped with a holiday bow! One of my favorite Christmas movies, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the original black and white movie. It’s so special, isn’t it Judy? How cool that you have a copy of the original novella – is it a first edition? Thanks for reading and for your lovely comments!

      Like

  10. This looks like a delightful book. Miracle was a favorite Christmas movie of mine!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. One of my favorite Christmas movies in picture book format. The illustrations look inviting

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a tremendous accomplishment! Congratulations, Susanna! I can’t wait to see it. And the artwork looks beautiful as well!

    Shared to Twitter and Facebook.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I saw the book in my local indie bookstore the other day…and can’t believe I didn’t buy it…I’m going to call them to see if they still have it because how amazing…to have this iconic Christmas story with YOUR words, Susanna…oh my gosh! Congratulations, my friend…this is wonderful!!!

    Like

  14. What a wonderful Christmas read aloud!

    Like


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