In the television show, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown searches for the true meaning of Christmas and helps infuse it into all the Peanuts gang. Like many people, he's a little down in the dumps over the upcoming holiday season, but with his good heart he soon finds a way to seek out Christmas in his own way by getting a real tree rather than the artificial one that Lucy sent him for.
If you are like me, you have watched and enjoyed A Charlie Brown Christmas many times since it premiered in 1965. Now, you can have this experience every day with this remarkable keepsake album. Everything about the book is first-class and a joy. Do be kind to your family and friends who like Peanuts and give them this book.
The book contains the whole illustrated script of the show, which brings the experience of watching the show back very literally. You also get the lyrics and music to "Christmas Time Is Here" and "Linus and Lucy." I could hear the music in my head for days after reading the book. You can, of course, play and sing these songs for yourself, as well.
There are also a lot of background sketches, story boards, and production sheets to help you understand the development and production process better. I found these to be interesting and valuable additions to the book.
I also enjoyed learning more about the decision to integrate jazz and classical music into the show. The remembrances about Vince Guraldi, who wrote the music, added to my understanding of why this is a great story.
To me, though, the best parts were the memories of Charles "Sparky" Schulz by producer Lee Mendelson and animator (and voice of Snoopy) Bill Melendez. This material integrates the story back into Mr. Schulz's basic religious values. You also get insights into the characters and their relation to Mr. Schulz. My favorite reference was this quote, "Charlie Brown is the way I am and Snoopy is the way I wish I could be."
After you read and reread this book, I suggest you sit back and plan for how you can have the kind of Christmas that Charles Schulz wanted to encourage with this story. That will be the best benefit of all.
May you always find and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas!