Winter Wishes is a magical anthology of animal stories for younger chapter book readers. The ten Christmas and winter themed stories are written by well known children’s authors and are beautifully illustrated by Alison Edgson. Each story is short enough to read in one sitting, they’re the perfect length for newly independent readers.
The stories include a variety of animals, penguins, tigers, foxes, dogs, kittens and even a teddy bear and many have a heartwarming connection to Christmas. Alison Edgson’s black and white illustrations are beautiful and capture the animals expressions perfectly. They support an early reader and add interest for a child who is being read to.
Santa Claus appears in several of the stories – his workshop is featured in Pip the Penguin’s story, he judges a talent show and Fergus the fox is mesmerised when he sees Santa’s sleigh. Christmas trees, decorations and talk about Christmas food add to the festive atmosphere in the book and even the dogs in the dog shelter have a special Christmas lunch planned.
The Penguin Parade by Caroline Juskus: Instead of practising marching for the parade Little Pip helps Santa instead. But Santa’s thank you present helps Pip and all the other little penguins march perfectly.
Finding Bigfoot by Guy Bass: Bigfoot is lost but doesn’t listen to a woodpecker who tries to help him. While following his own trails the fresh snow hides Bigfoot’s footprints but when he finally listens to the woodpecker he realises that he isn’t lost at all!
Seeley’s Song by Michael Board: Seal pup, Seeley, unsuccessfully tries to audition for The Blubber Brothers so he can take part in The North Pole Talent Show. But a chance meeting with Bella, a whale, gives Seeley another opportunity to perform for Santa and his reindeer.
Dog Star by Caroline Pitcher: Husky pup, Chookie, is distracted by an Arctic Hare and leaves her pack to chase it. Lost and alone she doesn’t know how to find her team but then she recognises the Dog Star.
The Wish Elephant by Elizabeth Baguley: A snow globe reminds Louisa of her house in England. There is no snow where she now lives in India but a magical night time adventure with an elephant, Kasi, takes her to snowy mountains in the far north and puts her in the mood for Christmas.
Fergus Fox’s Christmas by Karen Wallace: When Fergus and his sister Twitch go out at night for the first time they watch as children put food out for Santa and make a wish. Fergus makes his own wish and his family are delighted when it comes true!
Morning Bear by Malachy Doyle: Jenny says ‘Morning Bear’ to the bear in the junk store window. He’s not for sale but the kind shop keeper, Mr Hoffman, says she can have him if she can guess his name…
The Kitten in the Snow by Penny Dolan: A white kitten with no name has a snowy adventure when Grandpa accidentally leaves the back door open. It’s scary outside but when Tilly and Ollie find the kitten they know just what to call her!
Tiger in the Night by Narinder Dhami: When Tiggy, Rusty and Stripe play a night time game of dare they are rescued from danger by a tiger they haven’t met before. Their dad!
Just in time for Christmas by Holly Webb: Max is in the dog shelter as his owner Mrs Jarrett is too old to look after him. But it’s Christmas Eve, surely nobody will come looking for a dog today. Or will they?
We enjoyed the variety of all the stories in their different settings but our favourite story is Morning Bear, we were intrigued to know what he was really called and love the German connection to the bear 🙂
Winter Wishes is a fabulous first chapter book which is perfect for the festive season and small enough to fit into a Christmas stocking!
Illustrator: Alison Edgson
Thank you to Little Tiger Press for sending Winter Wishes. It’s a wonderful collection to read at this time of year.