The Christmas Present (Hello Kitty and Friends) by Linda Chapman and Michelle Misra

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The Christmas Present (Hello Kitty and Friends) by Linda Chapman and Michelle Misra

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Buy The Christmas Present (Hello Kitty and Friends) by Linda Chapman and Michelle Misra at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: Two stories for the price of one in this bumper festive edition featuring Hello Kitty and Friends. A little bit cliched and predictable for cynical adult readers, but will be loved to bits by its target audience.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 208 Date: November 2013
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0007515813

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Hello Kitty and friends are getting in the festive spirit in this book of two short stories. In The Christmas Tree they have to work together to save the day when the school’s Christmas display is put in danger, and in The Christmas Show it’s time for the end of term spectacular, and they’re all involved.

Hello Kitty and her friends have a series of books but you don’t need to know about their previous adventures to enjoy this one. There’s a helpful illustration of the whole gang at the beginning, including Grandpa and Grandma who don’t feature in these two stories, and you also get to see all the friends with their mixed up names: Hello Kitty’s twin is Mimmy (why not Hi Mimmy?!) and then there’s Tammy, Fifi and the slightly odd Dear Daniel.

These are really nice stories for little girls, and great care has been taken over them. Not the writing itself, though this isn’t bad for a character tie-in, but the content. For example, there is a strong message of friendship, cooperation and helping others. There are also safety notes: when they’re baking, for example, it’s explicitly stated that Mama is the one who puts the trays into the oven, and takes them out again. That’s a grown up job, and there’s no ambiguity over it, so readers cannot get the wrong idea. The message about Hello Kitty’s Letter to Santa is a bit saccharine but overall I found the stories quite refreshing as they were pleasant and sweet but not too cheesy.

A few notes on the style. This is a chapter book but it took me a while to realise this, because the pictures and the layout (double spacing so it’s super easy to read) mean it’s not always obvious when one chapter ends and another begins. No big problem, unless you have a canny little one who wants ‘just one more chapter’ before bed and before you know it, you’ve finished the whole thing. The font is nice and clear – it looks like Arial to me – and every so often there’s a venture into something a little more special, like italics or bold when a word really needs to stand out. The books are grown up in the sense that they’re black and white, and have chapters, but also young thanks to the many pictures and the bullet pointed lists and so on that add the fun factor.

Following the two stories, there are a few pages of puzzles and activities, plus an extract from an upcoming book, so quite a lot of nice bonus material. When I’d finished everything, I was left seeing how it could be interpreted as all a little bit clichéd and predictable by cynical adult readers, but for its target audience it’s fun and magical and engaging, and what three more perfect words than those can you think of? Perfect for reading alone or reading together, these are cute stories ideal for this time of year, and we definitely recommend them.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

Hello Kitty Dictionary would be a brilliant accompaniment, as would Hello Kitty Guide to Life

Buy The Christmas Present (Hello Kitty and Friends) by Linda Chapman and Michelle Misra at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Christmas Present (Hello Kitty and Friends) by Linda Chapman and Michelle Misra at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Christmas Present (Hello Kitty and Friends) by Linda Chapman and Michelle Misra at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Christmas Present (Hello Kitty and Friends) by Linda Chapman and Michelle Misra at Amazon.com.

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