'The tree was decorated, the cards were hung. Lights twinkled, dancing merrily and bright.' It's Christmas Eve, and father and daughter are all prepared for Santa's visit. Suddenly, out of nowhere, an old oak door appears in the living room. But this is no ordinary door. It's large and laying flat on the floor. Father pushes and pulls and tries to open it but it just doesn't budge. Both are wondering what it's for and why it's there when the young girl grasps the handle and the door flies open! Eight reindeer clambered up and out and are ushered into the family's backyard. What - or who - else might be hiding there? And what is the meaning behind the door?
This tale is a great read aloud addition to Christmas story time. Part rhyme, part prose, early readers will have fun discovering the rhyming phrases and the alliteration included on some of the pages. The colourful, cartoon-like images by Paul Nash are a vivid compliment to the text, with a big red Santa and an even bigger, green tree decorated with baubles, tinsel and a star. The message of family and bringing joy to others at special times like Christmas is a universal one, and will resonate with all who sit together to read this charming story - especially on Christmas Eve!
Find out more about Penny Macoun
This book is self published and was released on October 4, 2022.
For ages 3 - 5
Thanks to Romi Sharp and Books On Tour PR & Marketing for access to the book images.
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Ibis (affectionately known as Bin Chicken) has had enough of the noise and crowds of the city at Christmas. ‘Bah humbug! Not this again!’ she grumbles. ‘I can’t find my dinner with that racket below – shoppers and carols and all that ho-ho!’ Even the pigeon is wearing a Santa hat! She decides to gather her chicks and head to the beach. But what she doesn’t realise is that many other Australians have exactly the same idea, and when they arrive there are lots of children creating a very loud hullabaloo!
Out from the shadows of the scrub steps a bush turkey, who knows exactly where to get some yummy food. They wait till the children have left for the beach with their ‘. . . boogie boards, beach towels and inflatable toys!’, and ever so quietly (watch out for the dog!) make their way inside the house, where they find a treasure trove of delectable Christmas delights. They poke their noses into everything – including some of the carefully wrapped presents – which is when their plan begins to unravel. They start pulling on the Christmas cracker from opposite ends and BOOOM! Oh no! This wakes the dog, sends the turkey into uncontrolled flight, and bird poo and feathers begin flying around as the Christmas tree tumbles. They manage to escape and luckily for Ibis, the bush turkey knows that if they wait just one more day, there will be tons of Boxing Day leftovers!
This is another hilarious addition to Kate and Jol Temple’s Bin Chicken stories. The talented duo brilliantly captures the frenetic pace and noise of the holiday season in a city, and the feeling of wanting to get away from it all and head to the coast. The appearance of the bush turkey adds more humour with his ‘in the know’ information about how to get inside the house and start sampling the Christmas Day feast. It is the perfect slap stick companion for the Ibis and the chaos that ensues. The bit about ‘Bird poo flying around!’ will definitely be a winner with readers. The language is also very relatable with words like ‘servo’, ‘hotdog franks’ and ‘boogie boards’ making it very clear that this is an Aussie Christmas. The illustrations are a joy, with the bright colours and attention to detail a delight. Readers will notice something new each time they turn a page from the Christmas baubles and credit cards on the opening spread, the wonderful snaking lights of the highway, the old-fashioned television, and the last double page spread of a game of beach cricket. Plus there’s a sneaky little mouse who pops up on almost every page as well! My two absolute favourite details are the hats – Bin Chicken’s tuna tin and Bush Turkey’s crash helmet fit each creature’s personality perfectly!
Supporting teaching themes could include Christmas, celebrations, birds, the Ibis, the bush turkey, hats, summer, beach life, friendship and resilience.
Find out more about Kate and Jol Temple
Find out more about Ronojoy Ghosh
Published by Scholastic Australia Pty Ltd.
Highly recommended for ages 3 - 7