Book Review :: “Sylvester and the New Year”

Just in time for Christmas this year, Far Far Away Books has come out with a beautiful book that’s actually not about Christmas at all. “Sylvester and the New Year” is a modern incarnation of what’s apparently a classic story, but one I’d never heard before:  The tale of Sylvester, a white-bearded, sleigh-driving figure who does *not* deliver presents to all the children of the world, but rather brings us the New Year, in the form of a cheerful child.

German poet Eduard Mörike is to thank for the original tale, dating back more than a century, and indeed the book has the timeless feel of a modern classic. Emmeline Pidgen’s evocative, enchanting artwork seems the perfect complement to this peace-filled, sparely told story.

Also particularly charming is the printing — it’s a little art-director-nerdy of me to point out, but you can’t help noticing the pleasing feel of the paper and the glittering foil stamping on the cover. It’s even sized just right for reading together with a little one, laying perfectly across a lap.

The only problem is that if you want to give this to a special child in your life this Christmas, you’ll need to act quickly — especially if you’re on this side of the Atlantic. The publisher is in the UK, so your copy will have to cross the pond in time for your celebration.

Like the New Year, though, it’ll be worth the wait.

See more and order your copy here.


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Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at
Thomas James

Posted by Thomas James on 12/04/12 under books,children's art


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