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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Stories for Christmas
by Alf PrÝysen
Age Range: 6-8
Perfect for reading around the Christmas tree, Alf PrÝysenís Stories for Christmas is full of festive cheer. Join Mrs Pepperpot on some wintery adventures as she does her Christmas shopping (and even goes skiing whilst she is tiny!), find out what mice get up to on Christmas Eve and enjoy some truly magical tales.
In Stories for Christmas, PrÝysen perfectly captures the mood of the festive season. The stories depict winter landscapes and traditional Christmas scenes such as a lavishly decorated tree, Christmas shopping at the market or a toy shop window filled with goodies. PrÝysenís best-loved character, Mrs Pepperpot, adds some excitement when she gets herself into some of the truly unusual situations that her readers delight in!
Aside from Mrs Pepperpot, many of the tales in these collections have already been published and are actually quick filler chapters in Pepperpot books. Most of the stories are very simple and short and are ideal for the five and under Pepperpot audience. These stories would also be a lovely way to introduce small children to Alf PrÝysen before going on to Mrs Pepperpot, as those stories tend to be slightly longer and have more involved plots. This collection instead gives a good introduction to PrÝysen for very small readers by emphasising the basic pieces that seem to simply flesh out Pepperpot novels, as well as bringing together a wonderful set of stories by theme. It is also quite delightful to have the stories in a colourful picture book format with lush, colour plates that really help readers to get into the Christmas spirit.
This is a lovely collection filled with a real variety of tales. PrÝysen looks at the Christmas season from an unusual angle and focuses on small, quirky details and little pieces of magic. This gives his simple stories a charm that never goes away. Itís so easy to believe that the mice in his story really do come out to play with toys left under the tree! These are definitely stories to enjoy, treasure and re-read each Christmas.
Abby Phillips (2012)