book review

Peppa’s Christmas Post – Christmas book review

Peppa’s Christmas Post

Ladybird, United Kingdom, 28 September 2016Cover of the book Peppa's Christmas Post

Age group:

pre-school

Size/format:

hard cover, 48 pages with 6 envelopes and surprises

Looking like the Jolly Postman books, I couldn’t resist getting this as a Christmas gift for a young friend…

The story

Mummy and Daddy Pig have to stay in bed, so Peppa and George prepare for Christmas with their Grandparents.

My review

I suspect that any Peppa lovers will adore this Christmas book!

While toddlers may be the prime target for Peppa, this book is not a board book and could easily be damaged by eager little hands. It also has a fair bit of text on each page so may be too long to be read fully to younger children. Inner pages of Peppa's Christmas Post

Peppa and George have fun with Granny and Grandpa Pig as they bake, decorate, make and write. Each page is followed by an envelope containing something special and no only relevant to the story, but sometimes telling part of the story. The book is bright and colourful, showing genuine Pig family characters and a happy Santa Claus.

Everything is wrapped up nicely at the end of the book, with the children being acknowledged for their help and reminded to write thank you letters to Santa as he loves getting mail.

I am a little torn about the interactive parts of this book. A couple of them are not just letters to read, but once you make use of them, they are no longer part of the book. For instance, a page of cut out decorations is cute but once you have separated them and hang them up will they ever get back into the book? And a blank template for writing to Santa is lovely but only can be used once! So they are fun but limited uses. post coming out of an envelope in teh book Peppa's Christmas Post

My favourite part is Peppa being so excited about getting a personalised letter from Santa?

Santa’s husband – Christmas book review

Santa’s husbandCover of book Santa's husband

by Daniel Kibblesmith
illustrated by AP Quach
Harper Design, New York, 2017

Age group:

3 or 4 years and up, but read the review first!

Newly released, this is a different take on the Santa story!

The story

Described as the true story of Mr and Mr Claus, this book tells about the real Santa and how is helped by his husband.

My review

I loved this book, but am aware that others may not like the content and I strongly recommend reading it before sharing it with children (so you are prepared for any questions that may arise).

Ready for the shock? In this book, Santa is both black and gay. The Santa we are used to seeing is actually Santa’s white husband, named David. Personally, I have no issues with either coloured skin or gays so this didn’t bother me – but if it does bother you, this book will challenge you.
Inside peak at Santa's husband

For younger children, it can just be another version of Santa. For children a bit older, it can also be a catalyst for some interesting and important conversations (gay marriage, racism, dietary restrictions, differences between Santa images and why people get angry about such things). For adults, it is surprising, refreshing and funny!

There is some humour included which makes it fun for adults without being inappropriate for younger readers, such as keeping each other cosy in winter and sooty footprints all over the floor annoying Santa!

Quach has drawn some colourful and engaging pictures of Santa and his husband, and the writing itself is well done.

Overall, the book has a number of positive messages – primarily, acceptance of differences (“Who is anyone to say what the real Santa looks like?”) but also the concepts of working together and making up after disagreements.

I think this is a fantastic Christmas book that should be in every home.

Happy Christmas Spot – Christmas book review

Happy Christmas Spot Cover of book Happy CHristmas Spot

by Eric Hill
Penguin Books, London, 2011

Age group:  toddler to pre-primary school

Spot the dog is a well-known character for many young children, so sharing a Christmas story with him will be enjoyed by many.

The story

This is a fun little board book where Spot and his friends share presents with each other.

My review

In Hill’s usual style, the story is easy for young children to follow while the ‘lift the page’ intrigues slightly older children as well.

The book offers great opportunities for discussing the book – guessing gifts by shapes, counting ornaments and snowflakes, and naming colours.

Definitely a Christmas book worth considering for toddlers and pre-schoolers, although it is very focussed on winter activities. My three and five year olds have enjoyed reading it while we had it from the library.

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