Review Blog

Dec 09 2015

The Christmas Peg by Cameron Williams

cover image

Ill. by Matthew Martin. Viking/Penguin, 2015. ISBN 9780670078363
Every child knows that Santa has a Naughty and Nice list, but even that didn't deter Wal from being naughty. Time and again he got himself into trouble and when Santa found him on his Naughty List he had to dive into his sack and take the helicopter that could really fly that Wal was going to get out and give it to someone else. Imagine Wal's disappointment as he raced downstairs before the sun to discover that his Santa Sack held only a wooden peg.
The next year wasn't much better. Even though he tried to be good all year, it was impossible and once again his name was on THAT list. So while his big sister Laura rode her shiny new bike, Wal had only a picture of a peg. Angry and sad, the following year he gave up even trying to be nice and when Santa saw his name for a third year in a row, he was really angry too and this time there was nothing in Wal's sack at all! Can Wal learn his lesson? Can he redeem himself?
This story was created by Channel 9 personality Cameron Williams as a cautionary bedtime tale for his daughter but when his neighbour, illustrator Matthew Martin, heard it he urged Williams to turn it into a book. The result of the collaboration is a charming story that will resonate with children who are trying to be good as Christmas approaches as they realise that Santa really is watching and he does check that list.
Barbara Braxton

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