As I was wriggling around the school this week, I couldn’t help but notice that Christmas preparations are well under way at The Old Hall. What an enormous tree in the foyer! (It is even more enormous when looked at from a worm’s-eye view...). Santa’s sleigh is there too, and the scenery for the Nativity is taking shape. There is a general air of excitement and anticipation around school.
I would imagine that many children – and maybe some adults – are thinking carefully about what they might like for Christmas. Letters and lists are probably being compiled and sent, and the Christmas Elves will be very busy during the next 24 days. (Yes, it really is that close!).
I expect that there will be a great deal of technical wizardry included in those lists: phones, cameras, games consoles, tablets and laptops, plus all the paraphernalia that accompanies them. I wonder if anyone will be asking for books this Christmas...
My Great Aunt Esmé always buys me a book for Christmas and has done ever since I was a very young Bookworm. She always buys me a children’s book, no matter how old I become and you may think that she is quite mad. Actually, I think that she is very clever because her choices ensure that I am always up-to-date with what’s going on in the world of children’s literature. I always enjoy them too. Last year, she bought me ‘The Nowhere Emporium’ by Ross MacKenzie, which I would never have chosen for myself, but absolutely loved. Wise old Esmé!
I am hoping that this year she might buy me Philip Pullman’s latest offering – ‘The Book of Dust’. I have read all of Philip Pullman’s other books and can’t wait to read this new one. The ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy would have to feature near the top of my ‘Top Reads’. But, I don’t mind whatever she chooses really: I shall look forward to settling down sometime over Christmas – probably at some point on Boxing Day – with a warm drink, a mince pie or two, or maybe a slice of Christmas cake, in front of a glowing fire and I shall open the cover with eager anticipation and begin to read... I can’t think of anything nicer.
For those of you who may also be asking for or expecting books in your Christmas stocking, you might be interested to know that these are among the top authors, as voted for by children, during the last year:
J K Rowling
Enid Blyton (still going strong!)
Perhaps it’s time for you to try one or two of these authors if they are new to you or your children.
Just before Christmas, I shall once again be reading ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens. I never tire of it. I think it is the definitive Christmas book I make no apology for recommending it every year. My copy, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, is one of my treasured possessions and, even though it is a little dog-eared now, it still brings me so much pleasure.
I hope that you too will look forward to receiving some new books this year in amongst all the digital ‘stuff’. Or perhaps you may settle down to read an old favourite. Whatever you choose, happy reading!