I loved borrowing Judith Kerr’s Mog stories from the library as a child. Mog’s Christmas was first published in 1976 but it is a timeless story and includes all the Christmas preparations that we make today. The house and the tree are being decorated, presents have been wrapped and Mum and Dad are busy in the kitchen. Everybody is having fun, it is only Mog who is not sure about what is going on.
The Story: Mog is confused by all the activity in her house, everybody is busy including the visitors. She retreats outside but a walking / talking tree shocks her into taking refuge on the roof. She can’t be enticed to come down and falls asleep on a snow covered chimney pot. When the snow melts she falls down the chimney and into the fireplace. After a bath she gets lots of Christmas treats.
Mog’s family are making preparations for a traditional English Christmas but Mog is unsettled by the unfamiliarity of the situation and everybody seems to be cross with her. She doesn’t understand that Dad is carrying a Christmas tree, the tree is so big that it looks like it is walking on its own and when Dad speaks she thinks that it is the tree talking. When she refuses to come down from the roof, everybody is sad (even the jolly uncle) but it becomes a happy Christmas when Mog falls into the fireplace.
The easy to read text supports the illustrations in Mog’s Christmas. Although everybody is busy the text doesn’t actually state what they are doing, the story is told through the pictures so there are lots of opportunities to discuss what is happening to ensure that the child has understood the text. The brightly coloured pictures mostly cover a double spread although there are also smaller pictures on some pages. My daughter likes the Christmas tree on the cover with its sparkly, tactile baubles and thinks the picture of Mog’s dream is funny. Judith Kerr’s illustrations also effectively portray the range of emotions in the story, my favourite has to be Mog’s surprised expression when she falls into the fireplace.
There are similarities between Mog’s uncertainty and the uncertainties that a small child may feel at Christmas. Children who are not comfortable with new situations will identify with Mog’s Christmas fears so this would be a great book to choose to help them if they are overwhelmed with Christmas preparations.
Age Range: 3 +
Author / Illustrator: Judith Kerr