Review Blog

Oct 13 2015

Christmas at Grandma's beach house by Claire Saxby

cover image

Ill. by Janine Dawson. Five Mile Press, 2015. ISBN 9781760065140
(Age: 5+) Warmly recommended. Christmas, Australia, Holidays, Beach. This wholly likable story about Christmas in Australia will have people singing along to the words as they parody The Twelve Days of Christmas, the English Christmas song, using a familiar Australian Christmas scenario. The family is going to Grandma's house by the sea. One the first day it is 'my Grandma, my family and me', but as the days roll along, more and more people are added. The second day sees two uncle Bobs, the third day three friends, then four beaming aunts on the fourth day. Each group added is gloriously happy and sunny as they come to spend Christmas at the beach. The illustrations show the range of things families do at the beach, including everyone in their fun and frivolity. There are sandcastles to be made, beach cricket to play, sunbathing, sitting about reading, people watching, digging channels to fill with water and of course swimming.
The charming illustrations capture all of the family filled activity that being at the beach involves, babies playing together, surfing, being swamped with sun burn cream, and so on. And Christmas at the beach means having Christmas lunch on the sand and this is shown with the Christmas paper napkins and plates and mince tarts and cake being served. Many people will find memories tugged at the fun to be had during those lazy endless days of summer holidays at the beach and the younger readers will be filled with anticipation at what may lie ahead in their Christmas holidays. This is a lovely addition of the range of Christmas stories being released.
Fran Knight

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