With all the classic Christmassy magic of that archetypal seasonal story The Nutcracker, One Christmas Wish by Katherine Rundell and illustrated by Emily Sutton is the perfect book to get you in the mood for the season of good will, hope and dreams-come-true.
It’s Christmas Eve and Theo is being babysat whilst his parents work hard late into the night. Determined to bring a bit of the Christmas spirit into his cold and rather empty home, Theo sets about putting up Christmas decorations, even if they are all rather old and battered.
Looking out at the night sky Theo sees a shooting star and can’t resist wishing upon it. This is the start of a evening of havoc and happiness involving decorations which come to life, much kindness and a little bit of out of tune singing. Will the magic of newly found friends last till morning?
Marrying tradition and nostalgia with nods to a modern childhood (farts and i-phones amongst other details), Rundell’s story finely balances the old world magic that is often yearned for at this time of year with a freshness that makes the story still seem just about believable and true to life.
Sutton’s illustrations are full of soft and detailed ink and watercolour work rich in patterning, reminding me of embroidery samplers. Whether its crisp wintry scenes outside in blues and greys or joyous, warm interiors full of reds and yellows Sutton’s use of colour to create atmosphere is hugely effective.
A story full of warmth, humour, and a satisfyingly joyous ending, decked out in all the Christmas loveliness one could want, One Christmas Wish is a charmer.
Lots of people asked me if I could try to find chocolates which didn’t come in a pack with nuts in when I made my last library, so instead of using shop bought chocolates, I ordered chocolates from a wedding favours company. (Unfortunately the company took a long time to deliver my order and then used poor courier to get them to me, so if I were to do this again, I personally would still stick with the shop bought chocolates, but in case you can find a more reliable source of chocolates in foil, you can download the book covers here. They fit chocolates which are 35x35x5 mm and 35x50x5mm.)
Please have fun with these chocolates, but don’t use my file to make products to sell. These book covers look so good because of the work of brilliant illustrators and designers, and so please don’t abuse their work.
Whilst making our Christmas tree chocolates we listened to the soundtrack to It’s a Wonderful Life. Other activities which could go well with reading One Christmas Wish include….
Yes; I have one copy to giveaway! Simply leave a comment on this post to be in with a chance of winning. The giveaway is open worldwide and will remain open for one week, ie until 5pm UK time 7th December. I will then contact the winner by email. They will have 3 days to confirm their postal address to me, and I’ll put the book in the post. I can’t guarantee it will arrive in time for christmas, but I will do my best.
Earn an extra entry to this giveaway by tweeting something like
Win a copy of One Christmas Wish by Kathinerine Rundell & Emily Sutton on @playbythebook’s blog http://www.playingbythebook.net/2017/11/30/one-christmas-wish/ Open worldwide until 5pm (UK time) December 7
Don’t forget to leave a link to your tweet as a separate comment in order for it to count as a second entry.
The giveaway is now closed. It was won by Andrea.