The very beginning of the book lets us know that "A Child's Christmas in Wales" was first performed as a BBC radio broadcast in 1945. In 1947, Thomas wrote "Conversations about Christmas". Finally, in 1950, he joined them together into one essay titled "A Child's Memories of Christmas in Wales". After Thomas died in 1953, the version used in this book was published as "A Child's Christmas in Wales". Though truly it is a collection of his memories of how Christmas was celebrated when he was a young boy in Wales in the 1920s.
Raschka's illustrations are an excellent companion to Thomas' prose. The cover of the book is the color of a winter sky with silver glitter reminiscent of the ever-present snow that "grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss..." The language is beautiful; the story somewhat disjointed since it is a collection of memories. The size of the book is perfect - a 6" x 8.5" oblong. Nine years old and up, maybe? They will completely understand the snow wanderings and the discussion of Useful vs. more desired Useless Presents. Certainly enough for them to say, "Oh yes - we have that at our Christmas, too!" My advice is -- if you are familiar with Dylan Thomas and this particular story, then buy this copy. It's beautifully done and I don't think you will be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you have never read it before, check out a copy from your local library first. There are many versions - but giving it a read through will let you know if it's something you want to purchase for your own collection.
I should also add that I won my copy! Many thanks to Candlewick Press and Elizabeth O. Dulemba for promoting the contest.