Blogmas 2019 · Picture Book Reviews · Picture Books

Review: Oh, Christmas Tree! by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet.

Review: Oh, Christmas Tree! by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet.

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Sidney Street is filled with beautiful Christmas trees in the windows at every house … except at number 34. Behind the front door, the decorations are engaged in a chase with the tree. The tree has no interest in standing still and dressing up. There are hundreds of more exciting things to do. 

Eventually, the decorations tire of running about and set to making a different plan. 

A laugh-out-loud funny rhyming tale about a Christmas Tree who just wants to be left alone. 

What makes this work is that it is relatable. Any young reader will side with the tree, however much they love decorations because every small child knows how boring it is to be made to dress in a certain outfit or to pose for a photograph all on the whim of some adult. Adults too will dimly remember those days. Don’t we all have one photograph of ourselves scowling at Christmas time in a hand-knitted jumper or a frilly dress sent by some well-meaning but clueless relative? 

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On a deeper level, this might help readers to think about each other’s feelings at Christmas. There is a lot of pressure on everybody and it is worth remembering that just because somebody doesn’t go along with plan A doesn’t mean they aren’t there to have a nice time with everyone else. A compromise can often be found and respecting personal boundaries is important. 

The rhyme and illustrations are both in the style of previous books by this author/illustrator duo and these are very popular with young readers. The illustrations are bold and filled with movement and life. At times there is so much energy in the characters it seems that they might run right off the page. 

Funny books play an important part in any reader’s diet. They tackle deep themes and real life issues just as much as other stories and writing good humour is an art form in itself. Oh, Christmas Tree! is pitched perfectly to be funny both to children and their adult readers and it will be a big hit this Christmas. 

 

Many thanks to Macmillain Children’s Books for my copy of Oh, Christmas Tree! Opinions my own.

Guest Post

Guest Post: Books With The Boy

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Followers of my blog know that Charlotte from Charlotte Somewhere is one of my closest blogging friends. I love so much about Charlotte’s blog – her acerbic wit, her photography and her coffee recommendations come straight to mind. The other thing I love about her blog is a regular feature called Books With The Boy. This is a collaboration between Charlotte and nearly-7-year-old S. 

S has kindly written a guest review of Simon Sock by Sue Hendra. I’m particularly excited by S’s instructions for making a Simon Sock sock-puppet. Thanks to S and Charlotte for this wonderful guest post. birdI liked about Simon Sock when he had to run away from Mr Twinkle-toes so he did not get eaten. But I did not like when the spotties were mean to Simon because that is not nice. I would give Simon Sock one million and thousand stars out of five stars.

I made a sock puppet about Simon Sock with my mum, by doing these instructions:

sockpuppetYou will need a sock, some scissors for a grown-up, three pipe cleaners, googly eyes, superglue and the end of a cardboard box.

First you need to put on some superglue to stick on the googly eyes. You have to put the cardboard right down inside the sock, all the way to the bottom before the superglue goes on because otherwise the sock will get stuck to your fingers.

Then stick on the eyes to the superglue on the sock and hold it until the eye is stuck but don’t get your finger stuck. Aaaarrrgghhh.

Next you need to get a grown-up to cut two holes on the top and two holes on the sides. Cutting holes in socks is very dangerous so you need your grown-up to do this bit so you don’t get all cutted up. . You put one pipe cleaner through the middle hole and shape it into arms however you like. I was trying to tie mine in a knot to make some hands.

Then put two pipe cleaners in the ear holes and shape them however you like to make two sticking out ears.

And then that is it.