Monday 10 December 2018

Owlet Press Children's Christmas Story Books (Sent for review)

We love books and Christmas is a great excuse to read together. Snuggling up under a blanket and reading is the perfect way to spend a Winter's evening and Owlet Press have sent us a couple of their Christmas storybooks to take a look at...

Both of our books have a very strong message about what is truly important:
Santa's Wish considers, what would Santa want for Christmas?
The Christmas Next Door is a book about a family coping with their first Christmas after losing a loved one and features a main character has Autism.

Santa's Wish

Santa's Wish is a rhyming story which is partly a re-writing of Twas The Night Before Christmas, so it's instantly familiar to readers. It is indeed the night before Christmas and we are with a family who are already beginning to celebrate and relax. That night the two children get a special visit, and it's all due to a line in a letter that the young girl wrote to Santa...

The writing is easy for a 3 year old to understand and a 6 year old to read. It was still a mature enough story to read with my 8 and 10 year old boys and they enjoyed listening, although they are at the very top of the age range.

The illustrations by Anastasija Pudane are very different and quirky, mainly monochrome with a splash of colour on each page. They're really interesting with lots to look at and won't be to everyone's taste, but I really like them.

Santa's Wish is a sweet and heart-warming Christmas tale with a touching message about what it really takes to make your Christmas great. It's not about money or possessions, or how big your turkey is, it's about being with people who care about you, and caring for others. It's a message we hear a lot nowadays and that can only be a good thing...

Santa's Wish is written by Samuel Langley-Swain. Paperback, 32 pages, rrp £5.99. In my opinion best suited to age 4-8. 

The Christmas Next Door

Also written in rhyme, this book is about a family facing their first Christmas after losing Granny. Grandad comes over to spend Christmas with his family, share in their preparations and celebrations, and maybe save the day occasionally, mostly by simply being calm.

Again the writing is ideal for a child of 3+ to listen to and a child of 6 or 7 to read alone. If you are a bereaved family then this book is best read together, in my opinion until your child is around 10.

Christine Cuddihy's illustrations are quite pretty and soft, with lots of colour and expression, and plenty to look at. They suit the text perfectly.

Grandad's stay over Christmas includes watching his autistic grand-daughter perform in a play, but the fact she's autistic isn't the main feature, which I really like. There are other characters with disabilities in the supporting cast. This normalisation is exactly what we need, to show our children we are all different and that's what is normal.

On Christmas day Grandad has a surprise for his family, this is the point we all cried, so be warned. They aren't unhealthy tears, the storyline is moving and poignant, and some of the sadness needs to spill out occasionally. It did us all good and we were able to have a short chat and share our own feelings a little. This kind of conversation is incredibly hard to initiate on a day to day level.

We weren't really expecting it and it hit us quite hard, not because it was deep or heavy, but because it was so spot on everyday and mundane - the family next door. It's a lovely book. We all had the biggest hug as I read the last paragraph about sharing love.

I'd recommend this book as a good read for anyone, especially children who have lost someone they loved.

The Christmas Next Door is by T.A Creaser & Samuel Langley-Swain. paperback, rrp £7.99, 36 pages.

The Owlet Press are a new independent publisher mainly publish illustrated paperback books with stories that have meaning or a message for the readers. They are supportive and intelligent books which give you a warm feeling and feed the soul. You can see and buy the whole range on the Owlet Press website.

We were sent our books for review.

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