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The Gift of the Magi [Hardcover]

O. Henry , P.J. Lynch
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.00
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Book Description

Sept. 9 2008
O. Henry's classic tale of the wisest gifts of Christmas, brought to life by P.J. Lynch's extraordinary art, is itself a gift to share and treasure.

In a shabby New York flat, Della sobs as she counts the few coins she has saved to buy a Christmas present for her husband, Jim. A gift worthy of her devotion will require a great sacrifice: selling her long, beautiful hair. Jim, meanwhile, has made a sacrifice for Della that is no less difficult. As they exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, the discovery of what each has done fills them with despair, until they realize that the true gifts of Christmas can be found more readily in their humble apartment than in any fine store. O. Henry paints a masterly portrait of unfaltering love, a haven from the harsh world outside. The poignancy of his story is captured in P.J. Lynch's eloquent art, wherein every glance, every gesture, tells a subtle truth.

Frequently Bought Together

The Gift of the Magi + The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey with CD: Gift Edition + The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale
Price For All Three: CDN$ 37.91


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

O. Henry's classic tale of Della and Jim, the struggling newlyweds so anxious to give each other a Christmas gift that each sells the one thing the other holds most dear, receives an oddly lifeless treatment here. Heyer's meticulously detailed illustrations are pretty but stilted; the characters look like mannequins. The rueful Jim fares better than poor prematurely middle-aged Della, who at times looks more like his mother than his wife. Still, the story is as touching as ever, and neither time nor mediocre artwork can dim its glory. All ages.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Gr. 5 and up. A classic story becomes a picture book for older readers in this oversize edition. Heyer's paintings reflect the turn-of-the-century setting and are nicely executed, if occasionally stiff. Because the protagonists are both adults, there will not be automatic appeal for younger children, but preteens, and especially teenagers, should find the romantic appeal that has been apparent to previous generations of readers. Ilene Cooper --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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First Sentence
There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An encouragement, exquisite story April 15 2002
By Ikumi
Format:Hardcover
The Gift of Magi is an O. Henry�fs classic Christmas story that is about a couple, Jim and Della, who loved each other. They were very poor people, but they wanted to buy a Christmas gift for each other. They did not have enough money, so they decided to sell their important things to buy a gift. Della wanted to buy a gold chain for Jim�fs gold watch, but she didn�ft have enough money. Instead, she cut her hair that was her pride, and sold it. And Jim, whose watch was great and really expensive, sold it to buy the combs that Della had wanted for a long time. So as a result, their Christmas day was not happy at all. This story�fs ending is not happy, but I like this story�fs classic theme and plot. I think that this book has good theme and plot though they are simple. This is interesting and a well organized story. We can learn cultures of American from reading O. Henry�fs short stories about Americanes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A highly recommended, multicast production Jan. 10 2001
Format:Audio Cassette
The Gift Of The Magi is a magnificent "radio theater" production of O. Henry's classic story of young love at Christmas time. A young couple just beginning their wedded life and of very limited means want more than anything to give each other a gift that will reflect and celebrate their devotion, one to the other. The gifts they select, and at the cost to each of them, all result in one of the most endearing, heartwarming, and humorous of conclusions. This highly recommended, multicast production is a flawlessly performed and recorded, totally engaging, wonderfully entertaining dramat-ization.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful July 20 2013
By laf
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A true classic. Pictures are lovely, I bought it for a Christmas gift and wrote a personal message inside.Hopefully it will be saved and handed down to future generations.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Generosity added to love" Nov. 28 2008
Format:Hardcover
O. Henry is the pen name used by the American writer William Sydney Porter. His short stories were enormously popular in the first decade of the 20th century, when he wrote prolifically for journals and collections. Being firmly rooted in their time, they have become dated; and his trademark surprise endings seem somehow unsophisticated. But in many ways people haven't changed so much in 100 years and some of O. Henry's stories still delight with their keen observations of human behavior. His two stories most widely read today are "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Ransom of Red Chief."

"The Gift of the Magi" is a little story that's worn fairly well in the lesson, if not in the language. Jim and Della Young lived on a shoestring in their New York apartment, very much in love but with no cash to spare for Christmas gifts. They had only two things of value: Della's luxuriant knee-length hair and Jim's family-heirloom pocket watch. Della (from whose POV the story is told) sold her hair to buy Jim a fob chain for his treasured watch. When he arrived at the apartment he "stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face" and then gave her the present he'd bought -- jeweled combs for her hair, now gone. When she pressed the fob chain on him eagerly, he revealed that he had sold his watch to buy her combs.

It's a simple story, but pleasing in its circularity. O. Henry calls Della and Jim "two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest." A nice little lesson -- to be willing to sacrifice your greatest treasure for the joy of giving to the one you love. How many of us are so generous, or love so much?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  192 reviews
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this story. Feb. 9 2011
By jencheryi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a short story that I read over a decade ago for the first time, and it has stuck with me since then. In the story, it is Christmastime, and we meet the two main characters, a young married couple who have each other and very little else, except the husband's (Jim's) heirloom pocketwatch and the wife's (Della's) hair. In a despirate attempt to provide a worthy present for her beloved husband, Della sells her knee-length hair to buy a gold chain for the pocketwatch. Little does she know, Jim has done something just as extreme for her. This is an inspiring tale that, despite its simplicity, speaks volumes about the sacrifices we willingly make for those we truly love.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift from the Heart Dec 20 2006
By E. Riego - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I picked up this book out of nice-cover curiosity and for some light reading to my 2nd grade CCD class, and instead of finding simple children's Christmas book I found a literary masterpiece. Lizabeth Zewerger has transformed O. Henry's very mature adult short story about social poverty and vicarious giving into a children's tale about the true meaning of Christmas. I was awed by the delicateness of Zewerger's watercolors and amazed by the way she perfectly expressed each emotion of O. Henry's tale.

In a world where every holiday (especially Christmas) has been commercialized this book is a symbol of the true meaning of giving. Before you get lost in the hustle and bustle (or if you unfortunately already have) do yourself and your loved ones a favor and pick up this book. It's a great gift for children of all ages and adults too. This is a gift from the heart to give at Christmas.

Reconnect and STAY connected!
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, but Incomplete Sept. 27 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a classic Christmas story in our family and is linked to many Christmas traditions; however, I was disappointed in this copy because of its "editing." Many parts of the original story were missing for no apparent reason. I did, however, find the illistrations lovely and would recommend this book for that reason.
41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great quick read Oct. 21 2010
By Sarah B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a classic story that was assigned reading material my freshman year of high school. Understated story, very well-written. The Kindle version is nice and I have no complaints with formatting.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars timeless beautiful story /ethereal art March 23 2008
By Christine Marti - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I give this beautiful book either to newlyweds on their first Christmas or as a shower/wedding gift. It is so poignant. I hope to remind them that the sacrifices you make in early love/marriage need to be continued through all the years of your marriage. Always wanting to make your partner happy often times means forgoing your own happiness. The red cover I like for Christmas otherwise the white cover for wedding gifts.
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