We wish you a ripper Christmas by Colin Buchanan and Greg Champion
Ill. by Roland Harvey. Scholastic, 2013. ISBN 9781742837239.
(Age: 4+)Warmly recommended. Picture book. Christmas. Singing. Australian animals. With a CD in the cover with which to sing along, the rollicking stanzas of this beautifully illustrated book will garner many fans. Customised to an Australian setting with plenty of Australian animals taking part, the story about Santa Wombat losing his naughty and nice list will draw readers and listeners alike to find out how he retrieves his list. He searches everywhere, in billabong and eucalypt, in the koala hung tinsel, and over the windmill. But when the goanna steps forward with his music, the list is found.
Using the framework of the carol, We wish you a merry Christmas, children will easily recognise the feel of the carol, and sing along with it, learning the words as they go. The rhyming words will make it easy for them to do this and they will find much humour in some of the rhymes ('thong' and 'billabong', for example)
All the fun of the search is remarkably illustrated by Harvey, as he depicts many Australian animals in his drawings, filling the pages with minute detail, which children (and older people), will love to hunt down and pick out. Watch for the hiding place for the spare key for example. His well known water colour illustrations are always deftly done, evoking a range of characters, and nodding to some well known Australian artists. The colours are evocative of the Australian outback, and the whole is a beautifully presented nostalgic look at Christmas in rural Australia.