My merry Christmas by Rosie Smith

cover image

Ill. by Bruce Whatley. Scholastic, 2013. ISBN 9781742838014.
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Christmas, Family. In about 40 beautifully chosen words, Rosie Smith presents the value of Christmas to us all. The customs we all follow are there, from getting the tree, to decorating it, making the cake, wrapping the presents,  but the main thing is that we are all together. All through the book is the build up to the merry day where the family and friends come together to celebrate their day. The first and last pages repeat the refrain 'When Christmas comes', reiterating the fact that that day is repeated, and the same things happen, re-enforcing the value of celebrating together.
Whatley's joyous illustrations underline the fact of family and friends coming together, as the reindeer on the front cover invites the reader to open the strikingly red coloured book. He is followed by a woodpecker and mouse selecting a tree, while on the next page we see the giraffe and small bird decorating it. There follows a pair of animals on every page playing some part in the lead up to Christmas, and on the second to last page they are all there, together, celebrating.
This is a gloriously told story, one which will invite children to share what their families do at Christmas, inviting children to look and see what others do, giving   
a list of customs which can be shared and discussed. The illustrations will entreat and delight younger readers, as they recognise the animal pictured, as well as  the custom presented.
Fran Knight