How Winston Delivered Christmas – An Advent Story in twenty-four-and-a-half chapters is a beautifully illustrated story to read in the countdown to Christmas. Winston, a poor, hungry little mouse, is a determined character who is on an important mission to deliver a letter to Father Christmas. But it’s not an easy task, first he needs to find a way to locate The North Pole…
The Book: On Christmas Eve cold, hungry Winston is knocked over by Oliver’s letter to Father Christmas. Realising the importance of the letter Winston sets out to deliver it. He navigates his way through the busy city with the help of new friends, Edna, George and Lady Prudence who lead him to Fortesque’s Department Store. Once inside Winston makes another new friend, Eduardo, who helps him find a way to get to The North Pole. But it’s snowing hard and very dark. Will Winston be able to find Father Christmas and complete his important mission…
How Winston Delivered Christmas is full of action, danger and page turning moments but throughout the story Winston is helped by animals and birds that he meets on the way. Their kindness and generosity embody the spirit of Christmas and the story leaves you with a warm glow.
Alex has captured all the sights and smells of Christmas with the most delicious descriptions and sumptuous illustrations, the story is a feast for all senses. The dolls house, which plays an important role in the story, is absolutely beautiful and the gingerbread castle in the bakery is awesome but my favourite illustration shows Winston in the stable with Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus.
Despite the desperation of Winston’s circumstances there is also a lot of humour in the story. I laughed at the description of George the robin after he had eaten too many mince pies, ‘flat on his back with his two stick-like legs poking up in the air’ and loved the description of Winston having a bath, ‘Suddenly a great dollop of floral-smelling cream landed in his head.’
How Winston Delivered Christmas isn’t just a story book and a beautifully illustrated index introduces us to chapter headings and a daily activity. Every day there are instructions for baking, making gifts or other Christmas crafts to keep children busy throughout December. Christmassy recipes include gingerbread mice, stained glass windows and ideas for making your own party food and there are so many great seasonal activities. I love the ideas for Random Acts of Kindness at Christmas and enjoyed reading about International Christmas Traditions. A Christmas Scavenger Hunt sounds fun and my favourite crafts are Make a PomPom Robin and Make Christmas Fairy Peg-Dolls, they’re the kind of crafts that I enjoyed as a child.
Tips for next Christmas, a selection of carols and our favourite Christmas poem come at the end of the book, Alex really has thought of everything – this is the ultimate Christmas handbook!
How Winston Delivered Christmas is the perfect present to help a child count down to December 25th and the story is so full of action that I think it may be hard for us to stick to just one chapter a night! Winston’s important mission is action packed and extremely perilous at times but also leads to a very satisfying and heartwarming ending 🙂
Alex wrote a Twitter thread ‘“
#HowWinstonDeliveredChristmas: BEHIND THE SCENES”’ which takes a fascinating look at how he created the book.
Author / Illustrator: Alex T. Smith
*How Winston Delivered Christmas has not been given my daughter’s seal of approval as I will be wrapping it up and giving it to her on December 1st but I have absolutely no doubt that she will enjoy reading the book as much as I do 🙂
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