Madge Eekal's Christmas by Colleen Jacey and Zed Jacey

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Madge Eekal's Christmas by Colleen Jacey and Zed Jacey

Jacey Madge.jpg
Buy Madge Eekal's Christmas by Colleen Jacey and Zed Jacey at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A rather different Christmas story which gently encourages children to concentrate on the skills they have rather than worrying about those they haven't yet acquired. Definitely recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2017
Publisher: Matador
ISBN: 978-1788036535

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It was nearly Christmas and all the witches except Madge Eekal were busy putting up their festive lights. Madge's pet dragon, Ashon, wanted to know what had happened to their fairy lights. The truth was that Madge had tried to get them to work, but it seemed that the fairies were on strike: she couldn't get them to work. Ashon knew that it would, of course, have been much easier if they had electricity, like everyone else and that decided Madge - they would make their own electricity. She knew the perfect spell. Ashon was doubtful... and rightly so as it turned out.

You see Madge was not reliable when it came to spells. If you say her name quickly (go on, say it a few times, over and over - see what I mean?) you might think that she's something of an expert, but Ashon knew that things went wrong when Madge used her magic wand and this time the spell involved Madge's bike, a string of old electric lights - and the wand. It also involved a quick flicker of light and then some very loud noises as everything exploded in a mass of colour. Back to the drawing board!

Well, actually, Madge decided that it would be back to the way Christmas trees used to be lit - with candles. But the reason why it's not done nowadays was soon evident as the tree caught fire and it was up to Ashon to douse the flames. So far as Madge was concerned there was nothing else for it - she was going to use her wand, but on some ordinary, everyday items, such as egg cups, fruit and shoe laces. The result wasn't what she expected, but it worked out quite well, and started something of a trend.

It's a lovely story. You've got to feel sorry for Madge, who is trying her best but doesn't really have the skills to achieve the result she wants. And that's true for most of us, at least some of the time, isn't it? But Madge did have other skills which decorated her tree beautifully - and no one was complaining that there were no fairy lights. It's an amusing way of encouraging children to think about what they can do rather than worrying about what they can't.

The story is simply told and the play on words about the fairies not working is going to amuse adults even if it goes over the heads of younger children: slightly older children will appreciate being introduced to the idea of a play on words. The text is in a clear font which will encourage the emerging reader to have a go at reading the book themselves. I loved the illustrations: they evoke Christmas perfectly and add to the story, particularly for the emerging reader who will take advantage of the clues for some of the more difficult words. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

Bookbag was also impressed by Odd Job Frog from the same combination of author and illustrator.

Buy Madge Eekal's Christmas by Colleen Jacey and Zed Jacey at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Madge Eekal's Christmas by Colleen Jacey and Zed Jacey at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Madge Eekal's Christmas by Colleen Jacey and Zed Jacey at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Madge Eekal's Christmas by Colleen Jacey and Zed Jacey at Amazon.com.

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