Review Blog

Dec 09 2015

Christmas at Grandad's farm by Clare Saxby

cover image

Ill. by Janine Dawson. Five Mile Press, 2015. ISBN 9781743463789
A double dose of fun with these two titles that bring back memories of fabulous family get-togethers at Christmas. No one does Christmas quite like grandparents and in Christmas at Grandad's Farm the family arrives at the farm all ready for the iconic Australian bush holiday complete with dust and flies and the fun of the favourite swimming hole in the creek. Set to the tune of Jingle Bells, it rollicks along through the day and into the night where it's hard to go to sleep because of all the excitement.
In the sequel Christmas at Grandma's Beach House more fun and memories abound as the whole family gathers at the beach to the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas. Uniquely Australian, it celebrates all the wonderful things that a beach holiday brings and instantly connects to so many in its audience.
The bright cartoon-style illustrations are just perfect, evoking a sense of freedom and fun and friendship, and while the theme of both books is iconic images of a Down-Under Christmas, nevertheless the colours and little details give a nod to the more traditional elements that set this time of the year apart from other holiday times.
There are many Australianised versions of Christmas, often set to the tune of those traditional songs, but these two with their connections to activities and memories that so many are familiar with will really be enjoyed again and again as part of the festive season.
Barbara Braxton

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