No Christmas is complete without the sounds of “Jingle Bells” and Thai artist Niroot Puttapipat delivered an exquisite paper-cut edition of this song’s verse in “Jingle Bells: A Magical Pop-up Edition”.
The author of this song is James Lord Pierpont (1822-1893), the American songwriter, organist and director of music at a church in Savannah, Georgia. He composed it as a song for Sunday School children to perform at a Thanksgiving concert in 1857. But over time “Jingle Bells” became associated with Christmas and lived on to become one of the most popular American songs in the world and the first song to be heard from space! In a Christmas joke on 16th December 1965 “Gemini VI” astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra have broadcast a harmonica rendition of “Jingle Bells” while in space!
Niroot Puttapipat grew up in Thailand. He is the grandson of a princess of Lanna (the Thai Kingdom going back to 13th c). He has a lifelong interest in art and literature and studied illustration at Kingston University. He has illustrated other books in this same silhouette paper cut style including “The Night Before Christmas”, “Alladin” and “Nutcracker”. His silhouette style is reminiscent of another Christmas book I have reviewed called “The First Christmas” by Jan Pienkowski.
Niroot’s white snowy backgrounds hold the silhouette scenes in black with touches of Christmas reds and greens. A couple rides a sleigh across the winter landscape, each turn of a page revealing its merry journey. The final verse, “Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh!” is revealed in a clever 3D pop-up. A masterfully designed and beautifully illustrated rendition of this iconic Christmas song.
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