Saturday 5 November 2022

A Very Play School Christmas

A Very Play School Christmas by Jan Stradling, illustrated by Jedda Robaard (HarperCollins) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN: 9780733342363

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

Jemima’s friends have come to visit her for Christmas. She has a surprise for them – she has hidden treats all around the caravan park. Big Ted, Little Ted, Kiya, Humpty and Joey have a great time finding all of the treats, including crackers and paper chains. One of the treats is a sparkly sack for a Christmas Lucky Dip – they each put a handmade present in the sack, and then they pick one out of the sack to keep. It’s ‘the best Christmas ever!’

Kids aged three to six will adore this story featuring their favourite Play School characters. Jan Stradling keeps the text simple and straightforward, allowing the wonders of an Australian Christmas to wash over the pages. Important themes of sharing, recycling and anti-consumerism are explored with subtlety, ensuring that the joy of Christmas remains unadulterated.

Jedda Robaard has brought the Play School pals to life with an appealing spectrum of colours. Jemima’s red dress reflects the hue of the fluffy eucalyptus flowers while Big Ted’s fur glows gold like the star on the Christmas tree. Littlies will love to spy all the Aussie mates in the illustrations, from the peeking possum to the cackling kookaburras.

A perfect gift for Christmas, this book is sure to be read again and again over the holiday season. It will spark cheerful conversations about festivities, foods and all the other fabulous things that make Christmas so special.

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