Brought over by boat from Holland to Manhattan Island, New York, eight-inch-tall Nicholas tours the city with his friend Ann Caraway, seeing an astonishing variety of sights and meeting a wide array of people and enchanted creatures as Christmas time approaches....
|Title||:||Nicholas: A Manhattan Christmas Story|
|Format Type||:||Audio Book|
|Number of Pages||:||331 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Nicholas: A Manhattan Christmas Story Reviews
fI have a goal to read every Newbery Award and Honor book - and a year from now there will likely be 400 or more of them. Well, just like the guy who wants to try a delicacy from every culture in the world, he gets a lot of wonderful foods but sometimes just has to plug his nose and swallow. Well, I'm glad I've finished swallowing this book, because it was awful.I agree with every comment I've read on this book. Why does everyone want to throw Nicholas a party? Why does the theater wait until Nicholas arrives to start? Why does Nicholas have to call the troll 'Old Giant' EVERY SINGLE TIME he says anything to him? Why does no one ever call anyone by their first name only? Oh, man I just wanted someone to accidentally throw Nicholas out in the ocean or on a fire or let him freeze in the snow or something, but since this book is a mixture of Nicholas worship with NYC worship, I figured it wasn't going to happen.This is one of the worst books I have ever read. If you are like me and have the goal to read all of these books, then you have my sympathies. If you are a normal sane human being who is looking for entertainment or enlightenment or SOMETHING, stay far away from this.The only good thing about this book is that it is very hard to find. However, it is selling for only about $35 on Amazon, which is a lot less than most 90 year old award winning books which are out of print.
Admission: I only skimmed this , but I read enough outright to state that ideas in this book had great potential. Premise: a very small boy (12-14 inches) named Nicholas travels (why?) from Holland to NYC arriving on Xmas Eve, a time more magical than others - but then this NYC is more magical than most. He hooks up with a couple of people who take him around the city as they finish their shopping - this is in essence a tour book to buildings, monuments, and all sorts of small shops existing there in the 1920s. If this had been done well it could have been fascinating, but names are just thrown out randomly with so little description it's impossible to follow. A bit I liked was Nicholas encounter with a traffic policeman using green and red flashlights. This is the book's top layer; the under layer is where the potential great bits were. In his travels, Nicholas meets up with, brownies, fairies, trolls, etc. as well as embodiments of particular places and deceased historical figures. Then there was a massive party at the NY Public Library (complete with roaring lions!) in which characters and authors step out of books to take part But the author does almost nothing with these ideas - other than have Washington Irving act as Nicholas' tour guide for a bit. I read this for my 2017 Reading Challenge and my Newbery Challenge (Honor Book 1925).
Nicholas: A Manhattan Christmas Story is, in every way I can see, a very unusual book. The main character Nicholas, who is only eight inches tall, is brought over to New York on a boat from Dutch country and immediately finds himself an assortment of friends and boon companions that is as varied and interesting as is the population of Manhattan. Most of the rest of the book plays out like an extended guided tour of New York City and its surrounding areas, with new friends added for Nicholas—sometimes human and sometimes seemingly not—at all of the unique venues that he visits. To me, two things about this book stand out as being especially good. The first one is the Christmas party that occurs at the children's library early in the plot, a party that is visited by many famous children's book authors (Mary Mapes Dodge, Charles Dickens and Kate Douglas Wiggin, to give a few examples) and famous characters (including the fabled "Pushmi-Pullyu" of Hugh Lofting's Doctor Dolittle fame. It's interesting to note that the first Doctor Dolittle story had only been in print a few years when Nicholas was initially written.) I especially liked the inclusion of Kate Douglas Wiggin in the Christmas party, since about twenty-five years before the creation of Nicholas she had authored perhaps the finest children's Christmas book of them all, The Birds' Christmas Carol. The second thing that stood out to me positively in this book is the reverence with which Nicholas and his friends view George Washington, and how enthusiastically they celebrate his birthday anniversary. Their emotional remembrances about just how wonderful The Father of Our Country is lead to some of the more tender scenes in the book. I can't really see a scene like the Washington's Birthday scenes in Nicholas being written in a children's book nowadays, which is unfortunate because it was probably my favorite part of Nicholas. There are some things that one just doesn't get from contemporary literature.
A live Dutch doll about eight inches tall, named Nicholas, visits a fantasyfied New York City to see the sights.This book could have been so, so, so good. I love "virtual tour" stories about places I've never been; if this had been a good example of that genre, I would've had no complaints.Sadly, it's not an example of the genre at all. It belongs to the very close but distinct genre of "tour guide disguised as fiction" - landmarks aren't clearly described, just mentioned offhand, with very specific directions as to finding them "on the ground", and it's really hard to stay interested in the storyline when whole chapters consist of "they went to this really awesome little place! and this one! and this one!" with no atmosphere to give a sense of the places. It's really clearly aimed at kids who live in 1920s New York and have the ability to follow in Nicholas's sightseeing footsteps.WHICH IS SAD. A book that did give the atmosphere of these little hole-in-the-wall shops and big department stores would be an invaluable time-capsule story for its era! There are tiny hints of time-capsule things anyway, like the NYC-dwellers counting time by the flashes of the (then brand-new) stoplight at Forty-Second and Fifth - but just not enough. :-(I'd rate this book much higher compared to the other Newberys of the time (most of which were virulently racist), but it was clearly never intended to go beyond its own place and time, and therefore I don't think it should have made the Newbery Honor list. (Of course, in 1925, nobody knew how prestigious the Newberys would become.)
I only finished this book because I am trying to read all of the Newbery Honor books. Otherwise, I would have quit early on. The main character is never explained. Why do we have an 8-inch-tall Dutch boy visiting New York? And why does everyone know all about and adore him? Apparently he is based on Ms. Moore's story time doll/puppet, but since that is never explained, the story has even less meaning. Basically, Nicholas is introduced to literary characters in the public library, and statues in Manhattan, and told all about General Washington as he tours the city. However, that makes it sound more interesting than it is. I couldn't find any purpose or theme, except that in each chapter Nicholas visits someone. Oh goodie. He also spends the majority of his time "yelling" or "crying" out his answers and somehow manages to walk everywhere with normal sized humans while holding their hands. I found him annoying. I also had no idea why a 21-year-old young man was one of his two main companions. Nicholas had a few good moments, but I definitely understand why it is out of print. Very few people will live through the story unless it is an assignment.
Yaaaawn. This was soooo hard to read. Eight-inch Nicholas is traveling around NYC meeting storybook/mythical people, seeing the sites, and attending parties from Christmas time through Valentine’s (don’t forget George Washington’s birthday, either!). However the narration was done, I could not get involved. I could not care about Nicholas’s travels, even though I think the base idea is decent. (It could be like telling kids who don’t get to travel much about the wonders of New York through the aid fairytale characters, right? That’s just not what I got.) It felt like the boring things were narrated. The boring dialogue was used. I didn’t get any kind of info or charm or storyline out of it, and I really wanted to.
I agree with the reviewer who said it seemed like a New York travel guide. It's somewhat interesting, but the story does not flow well. In fact, I'm not really sure what the story was about after reading 75 pages. Maybe it would be better reading at Christmas time, but I really don't think so.
Newbery Honor Book 1925