Review – Christmas Eve at the Mellops’

It’s almost Christmas, and Mr Mellops is reading the newspaper . . . an article on Christmas decorations. My how he loves the festive season!

Showing his boys the article, Casimir, Isidor, Felix and Ferdinand take it upon themselves to begin the hunt for a gorgeous tree to tiz up with festive bling.

Isidor finds a tree in the forest. Casimir does the same. Ferdinand, too – and let’s not forget Felix. But does one family really need four trees?

A kindly Mr Mellops suggests the boys head outdoors to see if they can find someone else in need of a beautiful festive tree. The boys approach the orphanage. But they already have a fine tree. They approach the hospital. But a splendid tree is already in place. Next is the prison, but the inmates are already kitted out with their own little tree (and besides, there’s not much more room in those teensy cold cells!).

Dejected, the boys trudge home, when they come across a little girl, weeping quietly in the street. Could she use a tree? Could her ailing grandmother benefit from a splendorous spruce? Could a lonely old lodger need a festive boost? What else can the boys do to make their Christmas celebrations more prosperous.

This sweet little piggy family shine in Tomi Ungerer’s heartfelt Christmas tale. Swoon-worthy, bi-colour illustrations hark back to a retro past, and are truly touchable. Warm, festive and tender, without an ounce of schmaltz, Ungerer continues to create modern classics that are an absolute must for book collectors.

Christmas Eve at the Mellops’ is published by Phaidon.


Published by

Tania McCartney

Tania McCartney is an author of children's books and adult non-fiction. Recent books include Riley and the Grumpy Wombat: A journey around Melbourne, and Australian Story: An Illustrated Timeline. She's also an editor, publisher and founder of Kids Book Review.