Review Blog

Dec 23 2016

An Aussie day before Christmas by Kilmeny Niland

cover image

Scholastic, 2008. ISBN 9781741690972
'Twas the day before Christmas
And in his beach shack,
Santa was snoozing,
Flat out on his back.

'Shake a leg, love,'
Sheila Claus said.
'Time to get ready
For the big night ahead.'

There is much to do before Santa makes his once-a-year flight . . . chooks to feed, breakfast to have, a walk with his missus, the news to read, pressies to wrap and the 'roos to sort out. "The koalas won't help me, they're too flamin' slow."
Putting iconic Australian sayings and slang to the familiar rhythm of the Clement C. Moore poem, Kilmeny Niland uses her artistic talent to portray a DownUnder day before Christmas through stunning illustrations that capture a very different picture of Santa than the traditional one our children are so familiar with.
Before sharing it, children might like to speculate on what it is that Aussie Santa does in preparation - perhaps a surf, perhaps a nap, perhaps prawns and a beer - whatever they predict they will delight in Niland's interpretation that might dispel their snowy North Pole images forever. And a must for any collection of Australian Christmas stories you might be sending to children overseas.
Barbara Braxton

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