The Turkey that Voted for Christmas by Madeleine Cook and Samara Hardy.

The Turkey that Voted for Christmas (OUP) by Madelaine Cook and Samara Hardy is a fun Christmas read for young children and full of plays on words for the adults who share it with them. It’s packed full of Christmas clichés, farmer up to no good and a robin with a plan.

The animals of Pear Tree Farm are a democratic lot, voting on everything. Each year the vote goes against Christmas thanks to Timmy Turkey’s family who always say NO!  But Timmy is tired of the lack of festive cheer so he galvanises the other animals and leads a brilliant campaign.  The voting is on a knife-edge.  Timmy’s family quakes as they wait for the outcome…

Colourful, festive and funny, this is an enjoyable story to share with young children. There’s lots to see in the illustrations and plenty of humour to laugh over in the text.

Turkey Voted Christmas

Christmas in Norway with Jostein Gaarder

It’s Christmas Day and I am in Tromso in the north of Norway.  Not coincidentally, I have just finished reading The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder.  I’m reading Gaarder’s books on the recommendation of my friend, Kenny, who thinks they’re great.  He’s been encouraging me to read them for ages and I finally caved in this year.

The first title I read (just a couple of days ago) was The Orange Girl.  Whilst I understand the philosophical point being made, I’m not sure that I enjoyed the book for itself.  The Christmas Mystery was another story altogether, though.  It can be read in many many ways but, as a Christian, I read it as a discussion about the true meaning of Christmas.  And I enjoyed it as a story, too.  I couldn’t put it down; I wanted to know what would be revealed behind each door of the Advent calendar.

I’m not sure that I think these are children’s books, although I bought them in a children’s department.  I’m also not sure (sorry, Kenny) that I’d buy any more of Gaarder’s books.  I enjoyed one but not the other and I’m not sure what I think of the style and quality of the writing.  But that’s a problem as, of course, I read them in translation.  My Norwegian has some way to go before I’ll be able to read them in the original.  Maybe until then I’ll borrow the English translations from a friend…