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Was That Christmas?
by Hilary McKay (more about Hilary McKay) 1425/112 illustrated by Amanda Harvey
first published 2001
Early Years for ages 3 to 8 published by Hodder Children's Books
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk
* £3.99, Usually dispatched within 2-3 days
Pat Posner's humble opinion
9/10 Very good. I am pleased with this.
What happens?
Bella doesn't think much of the Santa who visits her play school. He doesn't bring his reindeer and, even more upsetting, he doesn't bring a present for Bella's cat! And Bella's mother had said he would! But Bella soon finds out: 'That was just the beginning of Christmas'. So everything starts to come right as Bella and her family start getting ready for the real thing. Though to Bella it seems to be taking a long time. But at last it's time for Bella to hang up the stockings - one for her and one for her best friend - her cat, Black Jack.
Is it easy to read?
Flows nicely and the younger listeners will feel the excitement and Bella's impatience, too.
Anything else?
A lovely Christmassy story for everyone - children who think of the family pet as their special friend will love the closeness between Bella and Black Jack. Older readers will love Hilary McKay's 'Saffy's Angel' - the family in this one are unconventional and fun. It's mainly about Saffy's reactions and feelings when she suddenly finds out she's adopted and how the rest of her family, and a new friend, help her cope. They also help her to find the stone angel which her grandfather left her in his will.
Other books by Hilary McKay include Saffy's Angel, The Exiles, The Exiles at Home, The Exiles in Love.
Who says so?
This review by Pat Posner.
The publisher reckons...
Bella made decorations, sung carols and even met Santa Claus, but that wasn't Christmas! She baked mince pies, iced the cake and decorated the tree, but that wasn't Christmas either. She left a glass of wine for Santa Claus, a carrot for the reindeer and hung her stocking up. Was that Christmas?
And what do you think?
natasha watts, woodgreen school
the book was great and people who was in the story thought that christmas wasn't that great and thought it was great. and other people would like it because it was exciting.
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