Cover image for What can I give him?
What can I give him?
Gliori, Debi.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, 1998.
Physical Description:
25 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 26 x 29 cm
Two girls' stories entwine at Christmas as each must choose a special gift for someone very important.
General Note:
"Based on a poem by Christina Rossetti."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday

On Order



Two girls' stories entwine at Christmas as each must choose a special gift.

Author Notes

Author and illustrator Debi Gliori was born in 1959 in Glasgow, Scotland. She went to school there as well and studied design and illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. She received an Andrew Grant traveling scholarship to go to Milan for a year. Gliori is best known for her work with children's books. Her picture book Mr. Bear to the Rescue won the Children's Book Award and was short listed for the Kate Greenaway Prize. Where, Oh Where, is Baby Bear? was shortlisted for the Sainsbury's Baby Book Award in 2001. Always and Forever, written by Alan Durant and illustrated by Debi Gliori, was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2003. Her work has also been shortlisted for the Scottish Arts Council Award (for Pure Dead Wicked in 2003), and for the Royal Mail Award, for Stormy Weather in 2010.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. "What can I give Him poor as I am?" With the words of the poem "A Christmas Carol" by Christina Rossetti, this handsome picture book sets two worlds side by side on each double-page spread. On the left is a happy contemporary girl having fun with her parents and grandparents in her warm home as the snow falls on the midwinter landscape. On the right is a poor, barefoot servant girl toiling in the fields and in the stable where the infant Jesus is born. Each child wants to give a present to someone she loves; each gives her heart. The contemporary girl makes a loving card for her grandfather; the girl in the Nativity scene adores the baby Jesus. Rossetti's words create the "bleak midwinter long ago," and Gliori's paired pictures contrast that orphan's harsh world with the cozy family story. The endpapers with red and gilded hearts may evoke Valentine's Day greetings more than Christmas, but otherwise, the poetry and art work beautifully together. Safe at home, children will get the message as they identify with the lonely outsider. --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3‘The intertwined stories of two girls‘one in a modern wintry setting and one in Bethlehem at the birth of Jesus‘are told primarily through expressive watercolors. The minimal text is adapted from Christina Rossetti's poem "A Christmas Carol" and fits the modern tale of a girl's love for her grandfather more than the Biblical setting where not a bit of snow (referred to in the text) is to be seen. Though both girls seek the perfect gift, and choose "to give Him my heart," the juxtaposition of stories is jarring and doesn't make much sense: the long-ago girl is referring to Baby Jesus, the contemporary girl to her grandfather. The illustrations are richly toned, but often awkwardly drawn. While the message of giving is admirable, the execution is uninspiring.‘AC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.