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Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in New Zealand on a sunny summer's day, ay!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Oh what fun it is to have a Kiwi holiday!
Yvonne Morrison and Deborah Hinde give an old Christmas favourite the Kiwi treatment. Children will love singing along to the familiar melody.
I chose to review A Kiwi Jingle Bells book because my children and I absolutely love to read books, especially Christmas books at this time of year. The first thing that catches my eye is the beautiful Kiwiana themed illustrations on the cover of the book - the Pohutukawa tree and the Kombi on the beach. The gold title gives the cover a nice Christmas touch and the music notes around the title make the book look fun and inviting.
The thing that most appealed to me about this Christmas book was that it is a kiwi book. The kids and I loved the kiwi theme throughout and the multiple Kiwiana things in the story that kiwis can relate to like the sheep, chilly bin, cricket score on the radio, BBQ at the beach, pavlova - the list goes on. The illustrations throughout the book are beautiful, eye catching and relate to the story perfectly.
The story itself is about a classic kiwi Christmas so many can relate to or have fond memories of similar Christmas' throughout their childhood. The book is made so it can be read or sung, but it's so catchy you will find yourself singing along. I love that the book is a hard cover making it easy to store away and pull out Christmas after Christmas to read with the family.
I really enjoyed reading this book with my children, the words all rhyme and the story flows smoothly from page to page. I think this book is suited from age 3 to 83, even as an adult I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and relating to the fun story line. I think the price of $18.99 is really reasonable for a decent book that is going to be enjoyed for years to come. I would most definitely recommend this book to my friends and family.
As a teacher it is difficult to find Christmas books that truly reflect what a Christmas in New Zealand is like. A Kiwi Jingle Bells captures a typical kiwi Christmas in a bright and fun manner. The text is written so that it can be either sung to the jingle bells tune or read, making it a versatile book.
The pictures in the story are bright, and full of kiwiana, the Santa is in shorts and a t shirt, and the food is classic New Zealand fare. Christmas day is full of family, sun, the seaside and quintessential Kiwi fun, swimming, sand castle making, and rugby. I read the book to my preschoolers, and there was something about the familiar tune, the bright pictures, and perhaps the familiar images of beaches, swimming, ice creams and sausages that made this story an instant hit. I had to read it so often, I searched Youtube and found that the audio version of the book is available, and the children enjoyed listening to this while looking at the pictures in the book.
My own daughter is 12 and she swooped on the book and began to read it, she was delighted when she
realised it was the jingle bell tunes, and first read then sang it, she also 'read' it to her Dad when he got home to work, so I think it will appeal to quite a wide audience. I shared my copy with a teacher of year ones at the local school, and they enjoyed the story so much they are going to purchase their own copy so they can do a Kiwi Christmas unit in a few weeks time.
The book itself is a good investment for either a house hold or school, it is hard copy, large enough to read to a small group of children, and the pages of the book are a good quality paper, durable enough for many reading sessions. In our family we buy one Christmas story a year, and we now have a large pile of Christmas stories for my own and other children from the family to read and embrace the spirit of Christmas. I recommend purchasing this book as either a family treasure or a lovely gift for both NZ and overseas children.
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