We Disagree About This Tree / The Big Christmas Bake / A Family Christmas

We Disagree About This Tree
Ross Collins
Nosy Crow

The duo from There’s a Bear on My Chair are back and as usual they are disagreeing: why break an established habit just because it’s the festive season?

Mouse is excited when Bear bursts through their front door clutching a large Christmas tree and urges him to relax and leave the adorning to him. Inevitably Bear soon begins making disparaging comments about Mouse’s efforts and this precipitates back and forth critical animosity, culminating in tree overload

and disaster. However, not everything is a cause for contention thanks to two neatly wrapped packages waiting to be opened. Have the two bickerers finally found a way to share a Merry Christmas?

The interplay between Ross Collins’ sparkling verse telling together and his superbly expressive illustrations that are simply bursting with humour, is wonderfully done and will appeal to both young listeners and adult readers aloud.

The Big Christmas Bake
Fiona Barker and Pippa Curnick
Happy Yak

Author Fiona and illustrator Pippa cook up a wonderful festive tale based on the structural rhythm of the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas.

On the first day of Christmas two children head to the kitchen and begin to make a Twelfth Night cake. The list of ingredients is long and they wonder where everything will come from. Happily however, day after day for the next eleven days animal friends of all shapes and sizes show up bringing in turn, dried fruit, flour, sugar, candied peel, eggs, spices

and all the other things needed, until on day ten, ten lords come leaping in ready to carry the cake to the stove for baking. All that’s left then is the piping pipers to show up on the eleventh day to add the finishing touches so that come Twelfth Night, the most incredible confection is set on the table ready for every single one of the contributors to enjoy. I wonder who finds the bean that was hidden in the mix …

A tasty treat indeed and don’t forget to check out the recipe after the story.

A Family Christmas
Alana Washington and Emily Nash
uclan publishing

With echoes of Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Alana Washington relates the events of a family’s Christmas day. There’s excitement about the arrival of guests and a kitchen of hot chocolate drinkers with cousins squeezing close together clutching their mugs.

Then at dinner time, dish after dish of delicious food is served up, an unexpected visitor turns up and when everyone is bursting with extra helpings of pudding, it’s time for a toast to the host.
In order to work off some of that food, family members go for a walk, followed by further indoor festivities: dancing and games, singing and the playful adornment of those who take a snooze.
With the washing up duly done, it’s present time at last. Darkness comes all too soon and some of the family must head for home, but there’s one final treat still to come: something big and extra bright high up in the sky. What better way to end the day than by sharing a special story and watching a sprinkling of snow fall before snuggling down in bed after a perfect family celebration.

With joyful scenes of togetherness, Emily Nash’s gently humorous art captures so well that magical feeling of the festive season described in the author’s text.

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