The Gift of the Magi Hardcover – Dec 1992
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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.
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the greatest short story writers ever, O. Henry knew how to write about ordinary people to make them seem extraordinary. In GIFT, we are not told this young, happy couple lives in a tenement building, we are shown it in details. I loved how Della has to hang out her long hair to get it dry.
A lesson about what true gift giving is all about. I've read this to my daughter and granddaughters, and we all believe this is one of the greatest tales ever written. Many struggle to exist in today's iffy economy, yet you can only hope a sense of humor remains and love deepens due to not spending a fortune on gifts, yet giving from the heart and being able to laugh no matter the outcome.
Although I believe everyone knows the end of this story, I won't insert a spoiler, but I will ask that you re-read this short, especially the ending line. A tragic mix up, so filled with beautiful sentiment, it will bring a tear to the eye while bringing a smile to your heart. Be as wise as a Magi
"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?