Review Blog

Oct 27 2016

Christmas at home by Claire Saxby

cover image

Ill. by Janine Dawson. Five Mile Press, 2016. ISBN 9781760402952
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Christmas. Diversity. What a lot of fun is to be had when the author and illustrator get together to make an Australian version of O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree. The whole family gets together to decorate the tree, filling the branches with baubles, and wrapping up presents. Christmas lights are highlighted when the family goes on an excursion and drives past houses that have huge Christmas lights decorating their gardens. A stroll through the neighbourhood also shows the myriad of Christmas lights in neighbours' gardens, with Santa on the roofs of houses and toy kangaroos waving from the grass. All culminates in a shared feast with relatives and neighbours bringing loads of food for the Christmas lunch, everyone sharing presents and then home to bed exhausted.
The narrative will have enormous appeal as children and adults will be able to sing along with the story or could have fun making up their own verses. The pages are filled with Christmas cheer, with a warm and loving family, friends and neighbours gathering together to rejoice in sharing during the festive season.
I love the illustrations by Janine Dawson. Each page is filled with happy and diverse individuals all enjoying themselves so much and children will be able to recognise the familiar traditions that have evolved in Australia - the lights on houses, the long table set up in the backyard and the children going to sleep in a tent on the hot summer's night.
This heart-warming Aussie version of Christmas is sure to be welcome in all libraries and classrooms.
Pat Pledger

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2018
National Book Award winners 2017
Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards 2017
YABBA Awards 2017
Teens' top 10
2017 Man Booker Prize
Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature 2017 winners

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

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2017
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Librarie