Belle and Boo and the Very Merry Christmas by Mandy Sutcliffe
|Belle and Boo and the Very Merry Christmas by Mandy Sutcliffe|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler|
|Summary: You, me, them, we all know what Christmas is, but what about a little rabbit known as Boo? He has never heard of Christmas and needs someone to help him out. Thankfully, his best friend is a little girl called Belle and she knows what to do. Join them in this sweet and nostalgia fueled children's sharing book.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: September 2014|
|Publisher: Orchard Books|
|External links: Author's website|
In the world of children’s literature you have to get your winter solstice books out early if you want to stand out in the crowd. Before you can release a Christmas book though, it would help if all the characters knew what Christmas was. Thankfully, Boo need not worry for too long as Belle is on hand to tell him exactly what to do.
The Belle and Boo books are a beautiful series of gentle tales all about a little girl called Belle and her pet rabbit Boo. This is no ordinary rabbit as he has the ability to talk, or at least use ESP to mentally communicate with Belle. The problem is that Boo is very young and has not experienced much in life so he needs Belle to help him out. It may just be coincidence that all the information that Belle gives to Boo in Very Merry Christmas can also be very useful for young readers.
Mandy Sutcliffe has a beautiful way of writing and illustrating that could be seen as slightly old fashioned, but is actually a definite choice of style. She has taken an old fashioned look, but uses clean lines and detailed drawings to give it a slightly more contemporary edge, whilst still feeling almost timeless. This is reflected too in the story telling. Boo’s lack of knowledge about Christmas is incredibly quaint and Sutcliffe handles his naivety well without making the book cheesy.
There is a temptation to say that the Belle and Boo books, this one included, are geared slightly more for the adult reading than the infant, but Sutcliffe is able to draw away from this by filling her pages with interesting things to look at. There is always a hidden Robin around, or Boo doing something cute. The story may be a little simple in places, but the illustrations really add to the overall experience.
Speaking of additions, the book has the characters creating their own decorations and as a bonus there are a few cardboard Christmas decorations in the back that you can pop out and use on your own tree. These may be very simple and a little flimsy, but they have lovely colours and really help to make the story come off the page.
For adults and children alike, Christmas often has a magical and traditional feel to it. Very Merry Christmas really captures this and has a good message at the end about sharing with others. For some people, Belle and Boo may be a little too indulgent in the nostalgia stakes and could misfire with a child more used to reading Aliens Love Underpants. However, for the right child, this is a lovely book that will get them excited for the big day.
You can read more book reviews or buy Belle and Boo and the Very Merry Christmas by Mandy Sutcliffe at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Belle and Boo and the Very Merry Christmas by Mandy Sutcliffe at Amazon.com.
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