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BOOK REVIEW: One Christmas Wish by Katherine Rundell, illustrated by Emily Sutton

| 16 December 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: One Christmas Wish by Katherine Rundell, illustrated by Emily Sutton

November 2017
Paperback, $24.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Picture Books / Christmas


When you wish you have to wish with every inch of your heart.

It’s Christmas Eve and Theo, left at home with a babysitter, sees an odd-looking star out of his window. He decides to make a wish. He wishes that he had some friends to keep him company. Moments later the Christmas decorations begin to disentangle themselves from the tree behind him, ready to wreak a little havoc…


One Christmas Wish, while only released in 2017, has the instant feel of a classic Christmas story.

It offers a lot of heart:

He wished with every inch of heart he had. I want not to be alone, he thought. He said it out loud. ‘I wish for someone to be with. I wish to be un-alone.’ He hoped shooting stars did not care about grammar.

Some good laughs:

At the door, the tin soldier hesitated. ‘Do you think I should smarten myself up first? I have a feeling you’re supposed to brush your hair if you’re hoping to fall in love.’
‘But you don’t have hair.’ Theo was envious. He hated washing his hair.
‘But it’s the principle of the thing,’ said the tin soldier.

And some spot-on kid logic:

‘I seem to have forgotten how to sing. I know I knew once: I remember it very vividly. I had great talent. But I can’t remember how. And I’m a robin.’ The robin’s voice cracked. ‘All real robins sing. Can you teach me?’
‘Oh – I’m so sorry!’ said Theo. ‘But I don’t know how you explain singing. It’s just something that happens. Like dancing. Or farting.’

All of which recommend this as a story for the whole family, though the ideal independent reading age would be between six and eight.

There are elements of classic stories brought together here, like the toy soldier who’s looking for love, the robin who needs to remember how to sing, and an illustration style that is reminiscent of Little Golden Books. The story offers a quest, with problems to solve along the way, and the granting of a wish most kids will be familiar with; spending more time with the grown-ups they love, who inevitably often find themselves working until closer and closer to Christmas day with each passing year.

Definitely a Christmas story for the whole family to share!



Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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