J loves books, but he hates chocolate, so it makes perfect sense to give him a book advent calendar instead. Some of the books I have chosen are ones which we already own, some will be borrowed from the library and some will be new but we will read a new one each day and call them our special Christmas books. Although many of the books will have a Christmas theme, some will just have a nice message or lesson in them that we can talk about with J. I will blog about many of the books between now and Christmas so you have ideas for stories to read to your own children, or ideas for Christmas gifts for them or family and friends. To start off J’s Christmas Reads series I have chosen the fabulous, ‘The Night Before Christmas Mustard’s Christmas Wish’ by Sophie Scribble.
We welcomed a new addition in to our family at the beginning of the year, Orion the black labrador. It was incredibly tough going, which considering we have owned a puppy before was rather a surprise. For a start, we had not expected to spend two weeks coaxing J off the sofa because he was so afraid of the bouncing, biting, toy eating creature that had invaded his home! Anyway, as a result we still like to reinforce positivity of dogs and books are a great way to do this because they are given human emotions and characteristics that make them even more relatable for children. When I saw that new book, ‘The Night Before Christmas Mustard’s Christmas Wish’ was being published by author Sophie Scribble I thought it would be a great opportunity to encourage some puppy affection.
‘The Night Before Christmas Mustard’s Christmas Wish’ is a twist on the all time classic. In this reimagining Mustard the Dachshund sets off on a cold, snowy evening to deliver his Christmas cards to his friends. Poor little Mustard wishes he could be a different breed of dog as he travels so that he wouldn’t be quite so cold or quite so slow. However, the determination and kindness that sees Mustard through his journey are his greatest qualities. Will Mustard complete his deliveries? Will St. Nick reward Mustard for his efforts?
The first thing I noticed about, ‘The Night Before Christmas Mustard’s Christmas Wish’ was how fabulous the illustrations are. Like most children his age, J prefers to look at the pictures while I read the story so it is vital that they are worth looking at. Sophie however, not only meets but exceeds my expectations with this book. I wish I could draw like this (or, more accurately, I wish I could draw an image that would actually resemble what it is supposed to be). The illustrations by Sophie are beautiful, child friendly (J loved looking at this book) and perfectly linked to the story.
Of course a pretty book is nothing if the story is a let down, but there is no worry about that in this case. ‘The Night Before Christmas Mustard’s Christmas Wish’ is well penned, suitable for all the family and author, Sophie, clearly knows what younger children enjoy reading. J was engaged from beginning to end and chatted through the story as we read. I would suggest that this book is perfect for 2-6 year olds.
This is a good story for teaching your child through play too. J felt sad for Mustard which helps to develop his empathy skills and understanding about emotions. We also discussed what Mustard could do to help himself when he is struggling in the snow, which develops J’s problem solving skills. J also enjoyed counting the Robins in the book, as suggested, practising his numbers. In fact, J enjoyed it so much we then counted how many times Mustard appears and how many snowflakes there are in the book. ‘The Night Before Christmas Mustard’s Christmas Wish’ is written in rhyme, which helps children to develop linguistic patterns and also helps them to learn a story which they then use as a structural base for their own creativity. J has already started to recall many rhyming stories to be able to ‘read’ the story himself and I am hoping that he will be able to do that with this book before we reach Christmas too.
Whether you are looking for a nice addition for your book advent calendar, or a fun, engaging and educational book to share with your toddlers or preschoolers, I think that ‘The Night Before Christmas Mustard’s Christmas Wish’ would be a great addition to your collection. The book is available from Amazon UK and is available as a Paperback or a Kindle edition.
If you would like to win a Paperback copy of ‘The Night Before Christmas Mustard’s Christmas Wish’ please enter the giveaway below.
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1 paperback copy of ‘The Night Before Christmas Mustard’s Christmas Wish – no monetary exchange available
Contest is open until Midnight Sunday 12th November 2017
Distribution of prizes is the responsibility of Sophie Scribble
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This post was written in collaboration with Sophie Scribble – all opinions are my own
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I received a digital copy of ‘the Night Before Christmas Mustard’s Christmas Wish’ from Sophie Scribble in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.