I have a lovely selection of four Christmassy picture books from New Frontier Publishing for you today – as with my post last month, I thought it would be nice to corral these shorter reviews all in one place!
Book: Santa’s Tight Squeeze by Alex Field, illustrated by Karen Erasmus
This is a fun read that asks how Father Christmas could possibly eat all the treats children leave out for him, and still fit down chimneys! Of course, sharing is the key, and it’s lovely to see the reindeer and elves getting some recognition for their hard work – the theme of kindness and teamwork is a sweet one. The artwork is very cute, with a coy watercolour style that suits the simplicity of the story. The reindeer in particular are lovely, and there are some nice images of the different places around the world that Santa visits. Very sweet!
Book: The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore, illustrated by Helene Magisson
This is a nice edition of the Christmas classic poem with illustrations by the same artist who drew the adorable Little Puggle’s Song. This is a very different style, but still very sweet – Santa is drawn in a very round, very jolly style, and everything looks really warm and cosy. Very cute!
Book: Mr Darcy and the Christmas Pudding by Alex Field and Peter Carnavas
I’ve not read any of the other Mr Darcy picture books, but it’s easy to jump into the world with this one: Pride and Prejudice characters, but as farmyard animals! It’s a fun and quirky idea, and the illustrations are vivacious and full of humour. The story is fun and looks at the tradition of Stir-Up Sunday, the day on which the Christmas pudding is made five weeks before Christmas (there’s a page at the back explaining the tradition, which is a nice touch). For those who know and love Austen’s story, it’s a fun touch to have Mr Collins as a naughty cat causing trouble, but I think kids who don’t know the characters will still find this very amusing from the story and the art. This is probably my favourite of the bunch!
Book: Marvin and Marigold – A Christmas Surprise by Mark Carthew and Simon Prescott
Again, I’ve not read any other Marvin and Marigold books, but I don’t think you need to in order to read this one. It’s a sweet story, told in rhyme, about how Christmas traditions can be more fun if you share them with friends. The rhyming structure should make this a good one to read aloud, though it is quite long. The art is very nostalgic, with a warm cosy feel, particularly when Marvin and Marigold have finished decorating – a great one for a Christmassy evening in!