The Princess and the Christmas Rescue by Caryl Hart and Sarah Warburton
|The Princess and the Christmas Rescue by Caryl Hart and Sarah Warburton|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler|
|Summary: Princess Eliza is a brilliant inventor, but spends so much time in her workshop she has few friends. A Christmas adventure brings her out of her comfort zone in this lovely seasonal story that has a warm message at its heart.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: October 2016|
|Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
Christmas can be an awesome time surrounded by friends, but if you don't have many, it can also be a rather lonely time. One way you could get more friends is to socialise a little and perhaps join a hobby group or two. What is unlikely to help is locking yourself up in a workshop and inventing things on your own all the time. This is exactly how Princess Eliza spends her time, but what caused her to have a lacks in friends may help her when a Christmas crisis occurs.
After spending day after day alone in her workshop Princess Eliza decides to get some fresh air and go for a walk. Soon she is lost, but living in the North Pole it is not long until she meets a friendly reindeer who guides her to a safe place. Eliza finds herself in clover at Santa's Workshop as she helps the Elves to better use their time by designing some inventions. Will all her work pay off in the form of some new friends?
Christmas books can be pretty hit and miss as it is difficult to come up with a new idea that has the core tenants of Yule; good will, Father Christmas, perhaps even the biblical story itself. You end up with some random books that have a very loose link to anything Christmas based. Thankfully, Caryl Hart has managed to create a new story about a Princess that still feels like a seasonal warmer.
Although Eliza is a Princess it is important to note that she does not really need to be. This is not a patronising story that suggests little girls all want to be princesses and have a tiara. Eliza is very self-sufficient and intelligent and she uses her mind to solve problems as others around her flounder. Hart manages to make a strong female character without belittling the book or the reader – Eliza just seems like a very savvy kid.
With a strong protagonist you cannot help wanting her to find some friends and she does this by being selfless. When she invents new machines for the Elves she does it to help, not to curry favour. The book teaches that if you help others selflessly, you will be rewarded in kind. This is a warming message that does have Christmas undertones; throw in Santa, elves and Reindeer and you are sorted for all the cheer you can handle.
With a lovely story the book could falter elsewhere, but thankfully publishers Nosy Crow and illustrator Sarah Warburton have done justice to Hart's story. The version I read was a lovely A4 hardback that felt special to hold. Inside are Warburton's colourful images that tell the sweet story by creating characters you can identify with. There are also lots of hidden little extras to discover if you search around the page.
The fact that Christmas Rescue is a little more wordy than some picture books means that it is best suited for a slightly older child, 4-6, who is not only reading with you, but starting themselves. The Christmas theme works with the illustrations and warm message to make this a perfect book to hand over on the big day itself, or perhaps even an early December treat to start the build-up.
Odd characters do pop in newer Christmas books, but that does not make them all bad; The Tooth Fairy's Christmas by Peter Bently and Garry Parsons is an awesome example, or try a sweet story for toddlers One Christmas Night by Christina M Butler and Tina MacNaughton.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Princess and the Christmas Rescue by Caryl Hart and Sarah Warburton at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Princess and the Christmas Rescue by Caryl Hart and Sarah Warburton at Amazon.com.
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