Review Blog

Dec 11 2015

Queen Victoria's Christmas by Jackie French

cover image

Ill. by Bruce Whatley. HarperCollins, 2014. ISBN 9780732293581
Strange things are happening at the Palace, things that have the Palace dogs puzzled. There's baking and decorating, people singing, crackers that rip and make a big noise, and the dogs themselves are being subjected to all sorts of indignities. Then the weirdest thing arrives - an enormous green tree that is placed in a pot. What can a dog so with that? Not what dogs usually do to trees, that's for sure.
But at last the doors are opened and all is revealed. Well, almost. The greatest surprise comes when the dogs do what dogs do and have the most marvellous payback for their inglorious suffering.
Once again the talents of Jackie French and Bruce Whatley have combined to bring a funny, charming story that paves the way for investigating the origins of so many of our Christmas traditions that were brought here from a very different time, place and climate as people tried to cling to the vestiges of what they knew as they pioneered a strange, new land. Cards, crackers, paper hats, Christmas puddings and cakes and the magnificently decorated tree were all part of the British Christmas and they have been woven into this story in rhyme in a delightful way. Whatley's illustrations which mirror the style and shades of the time are perfectly perfect.
A wonderful story and a wonderful starter for a timely inquiry.
Barbara Braxton

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CBCA shortlists 2017
2017 ABIA longlist
The Stella Prize shortlist for 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
Reading Children's book prize shortlist
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates