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A beautiful, gentle Christmas story, with the message being that it's family and friends that are most important.
Flit longs to have a white Christmas with snowbirds, ice-skating and sleigh bells. You can't have these in the warm south so he travels far to the northern hemisphere where he hopes to have the perfect Christmas.
It's not that easy and Flit learns to share with others. His Christmas holds all the magic he wished for, but it's still not right. Back home he delights in his southern hemisphere Christmas with family and friends.
I was so excited to get A Perfect Chirpy Christmas. Kyle Mewburn is one of our favourite local writers. We own quite a few of his books, both for littlies and for tweens. I figured it was about Christmas (favourite time of year) and had a bird (favourite animal type), so it would probably be well received. I was not wrong.
When I showed the book to my daughter she squealed with delight, immediately opened the book and poured through it all the way home from school. This is unusual as she will often wait for me to read it to her. We got home and I asked her what she thought of the story and how it flowed. She hadn't read it as such, but just from the pictures she told me the story as she saw it. She got it almost right, which is a good indicator of a good book for new readers. Each picture has to somewhat convey the meaning of the words, and this does.
Mewburn also leaves some things open to the interpretation of Patrick McDonald. So where he says that Flit finds the perfect setting for his white Christmas, he gives no indicators as to what that might be. But the picture certainly looks like an amazing place to have a perfect white Christmas. McDonald's pictures are warm and inviting. I loved the characters of the birds, shining through too. The not so perfect nest just about broke our hearts.
The story itself is packed full of warm fuzzies and all the best things about Christmas. The focus is not on the gifts, but on the experience. It's not about receiving, but about giving. And most of all it's about the importance of family and friends over all else at Christmas time. It's well written, it's well presented and it would be very welcome under a Christmas tree for summer-time reading.
Every year we do a art installation here in Hamilton, and this year my daughter was keen to do a bird theme. This book inspired her to launch into her decoration pieces over the weekend. She is basing some of her birds on Flit and his friends.
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"Reality is what refuses to go away when I stop believing in it."
Philip K. Dick