Ten Christmas crackers by Karen Erasmus

cover image

Hachette, 2014. ISBN 9780734415622.
(Age: 4-6) Picture book. Christmas. Sung to the tune of 'Ten green bottles', this countdown to Christmas Day via the many things we associate with Christmas, is the first Christmas book I have seen this year, and there are still six months to go!
The bright breezy illustrations are sure to appeal to a younger audience, obsessed with the trappings of Christmas, the tree, crackers, Santa Claus, Christmas pudding and presents for example.
Each double page counts the number down from ten to one, ten being the crackers, and one being the present. Other pages include 8 flying reindeer, 3 Christmas stockings, which roll easily off the tongue, while a few like North Pole elves, and handmade presents, are a little clumsy to say. Children will enjoy rehearsing and getting their tongues around some of the lines, and practice will always make it sound better.
The whole spirit of the book revolves around family and doing things together, pages show children with their pet dog, parents and grandparents. It has a warm feel to it, which overrides the image now usually associated with Christmas, that of giving more and more presents. The image is of the children doing something: busking, helping with making the pudding, making their parents' presents, while a nice touch is the single Christmas stocking on each bed.
This would be a fun addition to the Christmas story books in the classroom or library, ready for the last month of the year.
Fran Knight