I just got in my copy of the new Hallmark interactive book Peanuts Presents: The Very First Christmas. Written by Andrew Blackburn and drawn by Richard LaPierre, this story is told across 5 two-page spreads, each of which introduces a new hole in the right-hand page, in which you insert one of the included cardboard characters. Pushing the character into place presses a button, which sets off a song coming from the book’s built-in speaker. The book is well-designed, with the art bridging between strip Peanuts and animated Peanuts. The mechanism, however, didn’t work perfectly; perhaps you have to place the characters just right (they fit in tight in the holes provided), but I had placements where putting in one piece actually triggered another piece’s sound button, and there was once when turning the page caused a sound button to trigger. If you want to hear all the songs in the right place in the book (really, just one song with different verses sung by different characters), you can just push the button directly before putting the piece in place. The text of the book is all in verse, and sometimes fit the tune of the songs from the buttons.
As to whether this is the pay that the kids were putting on in A Charlie Brown Christmas… maybe. But if so, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, and Franklin snuck in.
As a Hallmark book, it’s not available from most book sources, but it can be ordered via Hallmark’s website… and today and tomorrow, they’ve got almost everything in the store at 20% off, including five Peanuts books.