I was lucky enough to receive copies of Meerkat Christmas and The Crayons’Christmas from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.
I love a book with bits! So I was really excited to see two new interactive books featuring some favourite characters this year! But I couldn’t review them without first reviewing the one that started them all…
The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Having said that I should start with this, what is there I can say about it that hasn’t already been said?! It’s a classic!I think what I like best about it is firstly, the way it includes the reader – little asides, comments and witticisms that feel almost like in jokes – and secondly, following on from this, the humour – it’s everyday and for everyone, but incredibly clever and quick too.
“Shut up you soft bears” – I just love the familiarity and ‘of the people-ness’ of this! I can’t imagine seeing something quite so well pitched, phrased or placed in a similar book today!
The ‘bits’ are just as clever and well-chosen too – from a Humpty Dumpty jigsaw to the Get Out of the Woods game for Red Riding Hood
Again its all in the details – the rules are full of that tongue in cheek humour that understands people so well!
With well-known and loved characters, plenty to pull out, read and do, humour by the bucket load and a brilliantly festive ending, this is a classic for a reason!
And now, onto the new!
The Crayons’ Christmas by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers
The Crayons are back and guaranteed to make you smile.
If you know them from their previous books (The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home), there’s plenty of nods to those books here, but even if you don’t this is a fab book filled with Christmas tradition, cheer and fun things to do!
As the Crayons enjoy the build up to Christmas, we’re treated to cards, dressing ups, tree decorating, a map, a board game and even a dreidel from Grey who’s off home celebrating Hanukkah instead (I thought it was great to see that mentioned and celebrated too!)
As with the other books, so much of the humour is all in the voice and the little details in the illustrations, and the way these two marry up so well. From paper and scissors playing Rock, Paper, Scissors to the Crayon’s asides and utterings, this is a simply brilliant book with both silly and sophisticated humour that parents will enjoy just as much (if not more!) than the kids!
And finally, another interactive Christmas special from a favourite character of mine – I was SO excited when I heard about this and very grateful to receive a copy to review!
Meerkat Christmas by Emily Gravett
This follows a similar structure and idea as the original Meerkat Mail book, in which Sunny heads decides his home is too crowded and sets off around the world, sending postcards home til he realises that perhaps home is best after all, busy though it may be.
In Meerkat Christmas, Sunny has been reading about the perfect Christmas so sets off again determined to find it. However, after visiting beaches and BBQs, hanging lanterns in trees, getting wet singing carols and cold in the snow will Sunny ever find the perfect Christmas?
Of course, just as he seems to have found it, he realises a real perfect Christmas would be with those he loves! Luckily, there’s a special someone on hand to see him home for Christmas!
With the detailed, lively illustrations you’d expect from Emily Gravett – the end papers alone are worth it! – and a card home from every stop, this is a gorgeous gift of a book for Christmas. The images tell much of the story and contain loads of humour too, which I always love to see in picture books.
I love Sunny’s voice as he writes his letters home, which is endearing and full of character and the little notes and cracker jokes on each page add to the fun feel of the book as a whole.
A funny and warm reminder not to forget what really makes Christmas special for you at a time when panic buying, stressed out shopping and frazzled food prep can take over!
A fantastic, fun book filled with festive spirit!