The Christmas bum book by Kate Mayes and Andrew Joyner

cover image

A sense of fun and frivolity radiates from this Christmas offering from Mayes and Joyner. Every page celebrates one of the sights and sounds of Christmas, partnered with a bum. So we are offered tinsel bum and pudding bum, cracker bum and Noel bum, accompanied by Joyner’s witty illustrations. Some page offer an item associated with Christmas: carol, turkey, bauble while other pages offer a descriptive word: naughty and nice, jolly and jingle for example. All of these will stimulate discussion and reinforce those things associated with Christmas in Australia. I love the page depicting the three wise men, with the word wise used as well as camel bum, as the three are perched on top of the camel’s three humps! the trio as well as the camel looking to the star in the east. This page will give the opportunity to discuss the story of Christmas and the birth of Jesus, and the part played by the three wise men. The nice and naughty page introduces the idea of children having to earn a Christmas present by their behaviour, while several pages reprise lines from Christmas carols, encouraging their rendition.

Inclusivity reigns as children and grandparents are included, and after listing all the things associated with Christmas, towards the and of the book we see more of Santa than we wish to as he chomps through his cookies and milk, his clothing cut away to reveal the workings of his stomach, before trying to climb back up the chimney.

Lots of fun will be had with this book, reprising all the things associated with Christmas, looking at the array of bums displayed, laughing at the humour in Joyner’s illustrations, laughing again at the last pages which repeat the people and animals seen through the book.

Themes: Christmas, Bums, Humour.

Fran Knight