Russell's Christmas Magic by Rob Scotton

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Russell's Christmas Magic by Rob Scotton

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Buy Russell's Christmas Magic by Rob Scotton at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Magda Healey
Reviewed by Magda Healey
Summary: Nice if quite standard story wise Christmas book, lifted above the run-of-the mill by magical illustrations. Many children, especially those already enamoured of Russell would enjoy meeting him in the festive setting, and you could buy it for the build up, or it could be borrowed as a part of pre-Christmas toddler book crawl instead.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: October 2007
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0007206261

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It is a mark of celebrity for children's characters to have a Christmas book, and Russell the sheep from Frogsbottom's field certainly deserves one, especially after the both sublime and funny Go to Sleep, Russell the Sheep.

The story is simple and very standard for children's Christmas books: Santa suffers a setback (in this case, his sleigh crashes in Firefly Wood), the magic is leaking and Santa is pretty convinced that Christmas will have to be cancelled. But our characters (in this case, Russell with his tool box) comes to the rescue, Christmas is saved and even Russell's own decorations are revived in time for the festivities.

Just like the previous Russell books, Russell's Christmas Magic has wonderful illustrations that combine humour with soft dreaminess that reminds me (very vaguely, of course) of Chagall as well as of Raymond Briggs. The world that Russell inhabits is truly magical and this magic is beautifully reflected in the artwork. I didn't really like the Santa: he looked too much like those horrific plastic decorations that light up from inside and cut a rather pathetic figure, but I don't think children would mind at all.

It's nicely produced, with a bit of sparkle and elegantly set in a lovely font. It's a nice but quite standard Christmas book, lifted above the completely run-of-the mill by its illustrations. Many small children, especially those already enamoured of Russell would love to meet him in this festive setting, and you could buy it for the build up (though do wait at least until the end of November!), or it could be borrowed as a part of pre-Christmas toddler book crawl instead.

Not unrecommended for 2-3 year olds.

Thanks to the publishers for sending this volume to the Bookbag.

For other animals celebrating Christmas, you might like to look at Little Rabbit's Christmas by the late Harry Horse or Ian Falconer's Olivia Helps With Christmas.

Buy Russell's Christmas Magic by Rob Scotton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Russell's Christmas Magic by Rob Scotton at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Russell's Christmas Magic by Rob Scotton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Russell's Christmas Magic by Rob Scotton at Amazon.com.

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