Mr Darcy and the Christmas pudding by Alex Field
Ill. by Peter Carnavas. Mr Darcy series. New Frontier, 2014.
(Age: 3-6) Christmas. Mr Darcy, and Mr Darcy and the dancing duck precede this book with the same main character, encouraging younger readers to delight in this series of stories with a similar theme. Mr Darcy is getting ready for Christmas. He gathers the ingredients he needs for his Christmas pudding, also inviting his friends to come and stir it on Stir-up-Sunday. But he spies Mr Collins out in the snow making tracks for Maria, the small bird. He rescues the bird from Mr Collins, taking it inside to the warm, but shutting out Mr Collins. Lizzie takes pity on Mr Collins and asks that he be allowed inside with the others if on his best behaviour. Her wish is granted.
With all the warmth of Christmas, Alex Field shows small children some of the customs practised in our community at Christmas time. Redolent of the English and European traditions where their Christmas is celebrated with snow and cooler temperatures, this book is a nifty showcase of the customs we still celebrate in Australia, despite the different season. An opportunity presents itself for discussions about different customs celebrated across the world at this time. With its cute illustrations, and explanation of Stir-up-Sunday at the back, this book will add to the Christmas cheer in the classroom, even if some of the readers are not aware of Pride and prejudice.