Review Blog

Oct 16 2017

A Christmas Advent story by Hanna Tolson and Ivy Snow

cover image

Bloomsbury 2017. ISBN 9781408889787
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Lift the flap book, Christmas, Advent calendar, Customs. A European custom of celebrating the twenty five days preceding Christmas Day is to hang an Advent calendar in the home for children to open each day. This handsomely produced book replicates the calendar that may hang in the house and encourages children to follow the days from December the first to December the twenty fifth. Each day has a window to lift revealing a small item usually found in the house.
Many traditional Advent calendars feature the manger scene but others now reflect a theme, like sports or the home, film or the environment. Wikipedia has a brief outline of the history of these calendars in the Christian tradition and this can be found at Wikipedia.
In this book a roll call of customs and traditions can be found. The children look at the array of Christmas cards, they go Christmas shopping walking through the snow, help select a Christmas tree, sing carols, help decorate the tree, wrap the presents using Christmas wrapping paper, help make the Christmas pudding and Christmas biscuits, while in the last few pages they talk about Santa Claus and what he might bring them.
For children each day has a different window to open, fueling the anticipation they feel leading up to Christmas. In a classroom this could be put to good use, reinforcing the customs that Christmas has engendered over the years, and could provide a talking point as to where these customs originated and why we follow them.
Readers will enjoy following the children getting ready for Christmas as well as the happy brightly coloured illustrations and of course, opening each window.
Fran Knight

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