Plume: Christmas elf by Tania McCartney

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Plume: Christmas Elf is the fourth book in the wonderful series written and illustrated by Tania McCartney. In this story, Plume is busily preparing for Christmas. There is so much still to do although the tree is up and the stockings are hung. Presents for the penguins keep arriving daily brought by Plume’s best buddy Ava of the Albatross Express. Today though she has terrible news: Santa’s elves are sick and there are no toys being made. Oh dear! With only three days until Christmas, Plume and Ava head off to the North Pole to help Santa. They work through the nights and finally the sleigh is packed. But there is a catastrophe. Santa and the reindeers are now sick. But with a sprinkle of magical Christmas Dust, Plume and Ava are ready to do Santa’s job.

Naturally they stop all over the world but in Sweden, England, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Puerto Rico, United States, Colombia, the Philippines and Australia, they are able to observe and take part in Christmas traditions unique to those countries, and sample delicious foods.  In Sweden they learn about tomten dolls and in England Ava finds the coin in the Christmas pudding.  In Australia they eat seafood and pavlova with mango and berries and play beach cricket and learn to surf.

When they land back in Antarctica on Christmas morning they find the penguins have unwrapped all of the gifts and are wanting more. However all that is left are gifts from countries all over the world so the penguins unwrap them and learn to share and play together. They also learn about a special Christmas gift.

This delightful book is a fabulous snapshot of how Christmas is celebrated around the world and with the bold and vibrant illustrations, it will provide a touch of Christmas magic and joy to both children and adults. A perfect addition to a home, school or public library Christmas collection.

Themes: Penguins, Christmas Traditions, Culture, Diversity.

Kathryn Beilby