THREE DIFFERENT CHRISTMAS STORIES

Today we’re looking at three very different Christmas picture books. They’re all colourful and entertaining, but the only thing they really have in common is the fact that they feature animals.

SNOWY’S CHRISTMAS

Written by Sally Murphy and illustrated by her brother-in-law, David, this story features a kangaroo who looks a little different from his friends. The themes are similar to those in Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer, but this story has an Australian flavour and features kangaroos instead.

Snowy stands out from the other kangaroos because he is the only white one. But he soon discovers that being different is also special, and that maybe he is different because life has something special in store for him. Snowy’s Christmas was a hit last Christmas and has just been released in paperback for 2010.

Kangaroo loving kids will enjoy this feel good story about family, friends and fitting in. David Murphy’s beautiful illustrations are so expressive that it’s easy for readers to know exactly how Snowy is feeling.

SANTA KOALA

As the name suggests, this book features another Aussie favourite. I’d never pictured Santa as a koala until I saw this book, but it works – and a koala in a Santa suit is pretty cute.

The book is written in rhyme and can be sung to the tune of Waltzing Matilda. It even comes with its own CD.

It is cleverly written by Colin Buchanan with a very Australian flavour and features other Australian natives like Echidna and Emu. Glen Singleton’s fun colourful illustrations complement the text and there’s a funny twist at the end.

THE TWELVE CATS OF CHRISTMAS

I’m an animal lover and I have to confess that cats are a particular favourite of mine, so this book was always going to appeal.

It’s written and illustrated by Kevin Whitlark and both the text and the pictures gave me plenty to smile about.

The book is written in the same vein as the Twelve Days of Christmas but features a ‘true cat’ instead of a true love.

I think my favourites were the ‘six furballs feasting’ and a ‘fat mouse in a fur tree’, but all the presents sent by the ‘true cat’ are hilarious and the ending when all the presents have arrived can only be described as a chaos of cats.

Snowy’s Christmas is published by Random House and Santa Koala and The Twelve Cats of Christmas are published by Scholastic.