This delightful collection will certainly awaken your child within and spark your Christmas spirit. There are around 30 stories from an eclectic array of authors: familiar names like Joy Cowley and David Hill, along with a number of rising talents. The stories are charming little bites, perfect for a younger reader, or to read aloud with your family. Christmas is truly brought to life. Stories are based in the cold clutches of Antarctica, in places out in space, and in various fantastical realms, but the New Zealand flavour is alive and well in these tales.
In “Cole’s Christmas Spirit,” by Shelley Chappell, a young English boy is shown the joy of a summery Christmas. Within A.J. Ponders “Dear Santa”, a homeless boy sends letters to Santa, his hopeful innocence simple, yet heart-breaking and bittersweet. We meet “Bandit” in Lorraine Orman’s tale about a mischievous cat, whose thievery turns him into an unlikely saviour. David Freer’s “How to Train Your Princess” is cheeky and smart. And if you like dragons, there are many in Eileen Mueller’s “Rumbled”. Joy Cowley lends a kiwi edge to the classic Nativity story in this reprinted version of her picture book “A Kiwi Christmas”.
Other favourites include, “Bells” by Lee Murray, an amusing tale in which the police get involved. And in “Santa’s Sack”, Simon Fogarty channels the spirit of Roald Dahl with a wickedly twisty tale about a bratty sister getting her comeuppance.
Some of the stories are short and sweet, others twisted and fun. Some will make you laugh out loud, others give you a warm and fuzzy fluttering feeling. It all comes packaged up in a neat little paperback, with a colourful and quirky-fun cover, interspersed with wonderful illustrations. Not only that, but by purchasing a copy, you are helping support the Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Zealand, and discovering some rising new talents.
Overall, an awesome Christmas gift for the child in your life.
Reviewed by Angela Oliver
The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales
edited by Peter Friend, Eileen Mueller, and A.J. Ponder
Published by Phantom Feather Press