Christmas

One Christmas Wish

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If you had a Christmas wish what would it be? Would you wish for gifts, food or maybe even snow days? In Katherine Rundell’s book, ‘One Christmas Wish’, Theodore has an opportunity to make a special Christmas Eve wish of his own, a wish that turns into a magical Christmas adventure. 

Once again, Theo’s parents are working late on Christmas Eve and he is left alone in the care of his rather neglectful babysitter. Whilst decorating the family Christmas tree with antique ornaments and gazing out of the window, Theodore seizes the opportunity to make a wish on a shooting star. He wishes with every inch of his heart not to be lonely, to be with somebody, to be un-alone. No sooner then the wish has been spoken, it is magically granted. The ornaments on the tree stretch and come to life- their mission, to keep Theodore company on Christmas Eve. 

One Christmas wish can turn into an extraordinary experience when a rocking horse, a robin, an angel and a tin soldier become your friends. Theodore receives just what he wanted for Christmas and in return his Christmas Eve becomes a quest to help his new playmates with their seasonal wishes. Each decoration appears to need something to make it complete again, whilst the rocking horse has an insatiable appetite for eating everything (including chewing through the cables of the Christmas trees lights), the little Robin has forgotten how to sing; the sweet angel has broken wings and the tin soldier misses his true love. Theodore is able to help each of his new friends find exactly what they need and in return, he finds the companionship he desperately craves.

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After a hectic evening of mischief and magic, Theodore wakes on Christmas morning to find that the restorative magic of the shooting star has stretched beyond the Christmas Eve adventure and has helped create a miraculous Christmas morning.  Theo’s parents have caught the Christmas spirit and the home has been transformed into a festive wonderland of decorations, presents, music and food. Theo and his parents share mugs of hot cocoa around the tree and settle in for a Christmas never to be forgotten. Their experiences have helped them to learn that the real treasures are the people in our lives, and the best gift you can give is the gift of your time.

Katherine Rundell’s book, ‘One Christmas Wish’, is a modern Christmas fable and Emily Sutton’s beautiful illustrations, in her characteristic 1950’s style, make this tale feel like a real Christmas classic. The story is a heartwarming reminder that Christmas is more than the gifts and the trimmings, it is a season of love and goodwill. Readers might imagine and write about their own Christmas dilemmas and wishes, create their own magical Christmas decoration characters and plan their own enchanted Christmas Eve adventures. This is a lovely book to read with any KS2 class.

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One Christmas Wish  Katherine Rundell, illustrated by Emily Sutton

Bloomsbury ISBN: 9781408885734

How Winston Delivered Christmas

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If you are looking for the perfect story this Christmas, then look no further! The wonderful, whimsical Alex T Smith has created another cracker of a book, perfect for the festive season.

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This is the charming story of Winston, a little mouse, who in the spirit of Christmas, shows great kindness, bravery and determination when doing something nice for a complete stranger. On his quest, he makes some surprising friends and sees the good in others, who in turn take the time to help him accomplish his mission, before he is suitably rewarded at the end. It is a heart-warming, cuddle of a book which has the additional joy of things to make and do throughout the story.

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The book is a celebration of spending time together and enjoying simple things. The emphasis is on using readily available materials- cereal boxes for card, bits of ribbon, toilet roll tubes- and putting thought, care and time into making things for others rather than money. I know everyone is ‘so busy’, but should anyone need an excuse to have some fun with their children, grand children, nephews, nieces, the neighbour’s children, this book is perfect!

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There are other ‘makes’ which might need a little more ‘specialist’ equipment, but nothing which is not readily available. My Book Group are going to be delighted to learn that we will be using the book and making some of the suggestions, starting with Winston finger puppets- so more on this soon!

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As well as offering a whole host of fun activities, ‘How Winston Delivered Christmas’ is also a beautifully written story, full of descriptive details and gentle humour. Alex T Smith is a master at creating engaging, quirky characters that appeal to a wide audience. His illustrations are gorgeous- the dolls’ house picture alone deserves a medal! There are so many details to enjoy like this one…

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I love Mr Penguin!

When so much in life is upsetting, ‘How Winston Delivered Christmas’ serves up a slice of perfect escapism and makes Christmas caring once more.

How Winston Delivered Christmas: An Advent Story in Twenty-Four-and-a-Half Chapters Alex T Smith

Macmillan ISBN: 978-1509851522

It's Christmas!

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OK- I give in- it's nearly here! And what a lovely book to start getting festive with! 

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Archie loves Christmas- and he's so excited that he tries to make everything more Christmassy by adding his special touch! However, his plans are not entirely successful and as one thing after another goes wrong, will he make this Christmas better than ever or cause chaos?

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In this lovely story, Tracey Corderoy perfectly captures the excitement and anticipation felt in the run up to Christmas. Archie's over-enthusiastic desire to be involved in every aspect of the festive preparations is endearing and the book reminds us that the trappings of Christmas are not what is truly important- it's being together and sharing which matter. 

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The book is full of gentle humour and the wonderful illustrations bring each character to life. A perfect story for the run up to the 25th December, 'It's Christmas' is sure to become a firm festive favourite! 

It's Christmas  by Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Tim Warnes

Little Tiger      ISBN: 978-1848696716