At this time of year one of the things I love is the chance to read some lovely children's Christmas books to my son. Ten Christmas wishes is such a book and holds a lot of charm for my son since we got it last year.
About the Author
Claire Freedman has written several children's books possibly the most well know of these is Aliens love Underpants. She lives in Essex and is continuing to write books.
About the book
Rather than a traditional story the book is a series of short poems really based upon wishing upon a Christmas star. These start with wishing up one star, then moving on to the next star till all ten Christmas stars are done. The wishing is done by small animal on each occasion on the star such as "Little bear, one shines for you. So make your wish tonight." On the tenth star it is the turn of the child reading the book or the parent reading the book to ask them to make a wish with the words "so close you eyes and make a wish, May all your dreams come true."
All the wishes that the animals ask for are Christmas and winter related such as to make it snow, having family to stay, the best Christmas tree and to having the biggest gift ever. These are all things that my son can easily identify with and at this time of the year some of the things he is wishing for himself such as for it to snow. We both like these wishes and he often will comment about them when we are reading the story. The language used is simple for children to understand and flow well across the page and have a melodic quality to them. We also find the fact that you can count the stars helpful at the moment as he is struggling with his counting so this is a fun way of trying to help him learn to count. When it comes to the time for him to make a wish he often will conjure up a wish that has been in the book or as Christmas is now approaching he will make a wish for a gift he wants.
Each star and wish is laid out over two pages with beautiful water color illustrations that capture very well the essence and message of each wish. The animals are all very charming and full of smiles and illustrator Gail Yerrill has done an exquisite job of making each scene look charming and full of wonder. The pictures of the snowy scene appeal to my son especially with him looking at the snowball balls and the snow men and he often want to talk about them and how he wants to go skating too or make a snowman. The pictures with the gifts and presents on often prompt a lot of talking as he decides which gift he would like and which one he would like mummy and daddy to have. He then loves trying to guess what would be in each wrapped gift. The illustrations add a lot to the book and in my opinion make the poems lift from being ordinary to being full of whimsy and charm.
The book is a firm favorite with my son at the moment as he starts to look forward to Christmas. The illustrations prompt a lot of discussions due to the wealth of detail in the pictures which I think are wonderful and I love the way he is so enthusiastic about the story and the book. The poems flow nicely into to one another and are full of Christmas magic and winter appeal. My son loves the book and it is a firm favorite in our house at present. I would definitely recommend this book to preschool children and young children at primary school in the run up to Christmas as it captures well the wishes and hopes of most of this age group.
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Little Tiger Press (1 Sep 2011)
Currently available from new on Amazon £5.59 new or from 99 pence on the Amazon marketplace second hand.