Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

Granny McFlitter. The Knit before Christmas by Heather Haylock, illus. Lael Chisholm. Imprint Picture Puffin 10 October 2022

September 26, 2022 Comments off

Granny McFlitter is a big time knitter “does she stop? no she does not. She keeps on knitting, like it or not”.

Its the night before Christmas and things are hotting up down at the zoo where granny has knitted stockings for all the animals. Expectation is huge until calamity. A Tufted Tweetlebird has dismembered the animals stockings and built herself a nest for her four eggs.

What to do? get granny McFlitter to sort it out. Christmas is threatened. Will she do it? She is the fastest knitter around when all said and done. Check this fabulous picture book out and see what happens.

Heather Haylock’s clever rhyming text is enhanced by Lael Chisholm’s colourful expressive illustrations that feature animals from the zoo, a Tufted Tweetlebird and multiple balls of wool. I loved the knitting needles in granny’s hair bun and the giraffe with a square bend in his neck. Lots to look at.

Great as a Christmas present for pre school and junior readers.

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Stink-o-saurus Saves Christmas by Deano Yipadee and Paul Beavis.

December 17, 2019 Comments off

stink o saurusStink-o-saurus Saves Christmas by Deano Yipadee and Paul Beavis. Pub.Scholastic, 2019.

Stinky Stan is a stink-o-saurus because he eats a lot of fruit which gives him excess wind, smelly wind at that.

When Santa’s reindeer get the flu and can’t pull Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve, children everywhere are in danger of not receiving any Christmas presents. Quell Horror!

Stinky Stan has a plan, using a pair of huge bloomers and his self produced gas. Read it and see how it turns out.

Christmas should be about fun and happiness plus a little absurdity. Paul Beavis delivers this, along with the crazy music of Deano Yipadee. A CD is included. These guys have done it before and hopefully they keep doing it. Juniors and even adults will love it.

Merry Christmas everybody.

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Sarah’s Two Nativities by Janine M Fraser & Helene Magisson

December 16, 2019 Comments off

two nativitiesSarah’s Two Nativities by Janine M Fraser & Helene Magisson. Pub. Black Dog, Imprint Walker Books, 2019.

For those of you who are into the religious side of Christmas, this is the book for you. The story of Mary and the birth of Jesus is in both the Bible and the Koran. They are different yet comparable.

Sarah has two sets of grandparents – Ali and Azar who are Muslim and Maria and Paul who are Christian. Both grandmothers tell Sarah the story of Mary and the birth of Jesus.

Sarah questions “I like these stories. They are the same in some ways but different in others. So, how can they both be true?”

Does it really matter? Sensitively done and helps bring two opposing religions together and help cultural understanding.

The illustrations are superb and bring a calming effect reflecting both Christian and Muslim lifestyles

My Christmas picture book of the year.

The Lonely Christmas Tree by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

November 9, 2019 Comments off

lonely christmasThe Lonely Christmas Tree by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros. Pub. Bloomsbery, 2019.

Christmas can be a lonely time for people who long to be part of what is known as Christmas spirit, being with people, sharing food and drink and exchanging gifts.

This is about a lonely pine tree that was once part of a big forest now cut down. The lonely tree watches all the celebrations from his lonely snow covered slope and yearns to belong.

Then on the eve of Christmas his life changes but you will have to read the story to find out why. Check out the mystery of what happened to the little bird.

Beautifully told in poetic verse that mimics “T’was the night before Christmas“.

Lovely story for juniors. The illustrations are superb as little tree sits on his lonely slope and the joy of Christmas comes alive with that jolly rotund red costumed gentleman and his reindeer.

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The Untold Story of Father Christmas by Alison Battle & Mike Battle.

November 10, 2017 Comments off

untold christmasThe Untold Story of Father Christmas by Alison Battle & Mike Battle. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

To wish is to believe in magic, in hopes and dreams that know no boundaries.

Father Christmas is one of those things but what if he was a toy maker with a wife who supported him and both had a dream to have children but it never happened.

What if he and his wife made toys for the children of the village whose parents were hard working but poor, and what if this task became so big that elves from the north pole had to help them out. And what if this became popular and spread throughout the World.

Sounds like a good story to me with ideals and values that all should behold.

Get a hold of this story and fill in the parts that I have missed out. Beautifully told and illustrated by I assume a husband and wife. I hope they have children.

Father Christmas’s Fake Beard by Terry Pratchett.

November 7, 2017 Comments off

Fake beardFather Christmas’s Fake Beard by Terry Pratchett. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2017.

If you have ever been out gathering winter few-ooo-well in front of good king Wencelas or sang a partridge in a Pearrrrr Treeeee, then you will love this collection of Christmas seasonal stories by the late Terry Pratchett.

If anybody can wring humour out of Christmas it is our Terry. He even puts Father Christmas on trial for public disturbance in which he pleads not guilty On the Grounds of diminished Existence. His first witness is a 7 year old boy who testifies “Everybody knows it’s just your mum or dad buying presents”.

There are other stories too including the Abominable Snow Baby and the people of Blackbury who make the biggest pie ever.

Easy to read, big font and super silly stories. What fun!!

One Christmas Wish by Katherine Rundell, illus. Emily Sutton.

November 2, 2017 Comments off

christmas wishOne Christmas Wish by Katherine Rundell, illus. Emily Sutton. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

My first Christmas book review of the year and it is a beauty. There is  a lot of christmas present about it, if you will excuse the pun,  with a large dose of christmas past. it oozes christmas spirit.

Theo is lonely on Christmas Eve, his baby sitter is asleep and his parents are at work. The Christmas tree looks tired and shabby and Theo begins to decorate it with some old things from the past.

He finds an old rocking horse, a tin drummer, a robin and an angel and puts them in the tree. Then he sees an unusual green red and yellow light cluster outside and assessing it as a shooting star makes a wish.

Magic happens, the horse the angel the drummer and the robin come alive and want to make Theo a happy Christmas. Adventure is about to begin.You will have to read the book to find out what they do and it is very good. The characters are excellent with the hungry horse providing laughs all the way through.

Emily Sutton’s ink and water colour illustrations are amazing. The detail of an English christmas with the magic going on is superb.

You will not be sorry if you buy this quality publication for everyone.

Pukeko Dancing on the old Dirt track by Lotte Wotherspoon

September 25, 2015 Comments off

pukeko dancingPukeko Dancing on the old Dirt track by Lotte Wotherspoon. Pub.

While the Sanderson family prepare for a typical NZ christmas on their farm, Spike and Rose pukeko prepare for the arrival of six chicks in the swamp. The lives of the pukekos and  humans overlap and both are to celebrate on christmas day.

Linking the two stories is the rhyming couplet  FLIP-FLAP, YIKIDDY- YAK,There’s a pukeko dancing on the old dirt track. It is a story that demands to be read allowed and is indeed more powerful when it is. The story is skilfully told and the rhyme is not forced.

The outstanding feature of this picture book are the pen ink and pastel illustrations of the farm, the swamp and the plant and wildlife which is classic New Zealand. Lotte Wotherspoon captures that striding authorative walk that characterises pukeko and it makes for a satisfying story.