North Parade Publishing, Bath, 2010
Age group: preschool
A colourful Christmas story about friendship that perhaps offers more than it delivers.
Some cute animals make friends with a little fir tree on Christmas Eve and he rewards them with some magic.
This is a cute little book, and the unusual shape makes it fun. It feels like it is a baby book because the pages are so think but it isn’t a board book as such and I could see the pages lifting off the plastic if a very young child had hold of it for too long.
I love the pictures – they are cheerful and cute, and match the story beautifully. Unfortunately, no illustrator (or author for that matter) is listed on the book.
There are only five pages of text, so it is not a long story, but probably should be longer as it skims over a lot of details – I think it would be great as a longer picture book instead of being like a toddler book. The story itself is too involved for a baby or young toddler, unless the reader makes it more interactive and interesting anyway.
It is nice that the animals finish a job (although the implication is the path must be clear for Santa and friends to arrive!) before playing, and that the animals are friendly and inclusive. Giving a tree a voice and the ability to generate presents felt a little far-fetched to me, but it is a feel good ending.