I'm delighted to be today's stop-off for the Twenty Four Days to Christmas Book Blog Tour, to tell you all about this gem of a book that is perfect for counting down the days to Christmas.
We are introduced to Poppy, who is in agony - it is the first of December, she has twenty-four whole days to wait until Christmas and she is convinced that she will not be able to contain her excitement and impatience. How can she possibly wait so long for Santa to arrive?! Poppy's parents put their heads together and come up with a cunning plan that has Poppy completing a different Christmas-themed activity every day, to keep her busy until Christmas (and Santa) finally arrives. Twenty Four Days to Christmas is an Advent Calendar of a book, which can be read one day at a time, or as a complete story, and centres on Christmas, family and the magic of the Christmas season.
This is such a fabulous idea and I can't believe I'd never thought of it myself - rather than buying the obligatory mass-produced (and probably chocolate filled) advent calendar from the nearest supermarket, it would be so much more special, memorable and meaningful to create an advent calendar with a little note for each day, explaining the activity for the day.
Poppy's parents have done most of the hard work for me and there are many activities that we will be able to enjoy along with Poppy - for example, writing a letter to Santa, making Christmas cards and creating a sock snowman (another genius idea that I can't believe I didn't think of !) or pine cone reindeer. Others may be harder to recreate, depending on where you live - going to see the Christmas lights in London, visiting Santa at a local garden centre, going on a train and visiting a stately home may not be on the cards - but it's still great fun reading all about Poppy's adventures and joining in with her mounting sense of excitement.
The book is perfect for bedtime reading as each day's story is only a couple of pages long, and the fact that it is written in rhyme makes it lovely to read aloud. We'll be enjoying reading this every day throughout December and trying out lots of the activities - I think a new Madhouse Christmas tradition has been born (and I think I'll have to create our own Christmas activity advent calendar next year - I might even have time to do one for this year, if I get a wriggle on).
The book is the brainchild of Fred Arthur, which is the combined pen name for friends Pincher Martin and Mike Dineen, who met working in the Royal Navy. For today's blog tour stop off, they have shared their dads' view of the top Christmas gifts (but I'm not sure if that's for the kids or the dads !!)
Fred Arthur’s Top 7 Christmas Presents
1. A Hornby train set - I can’t remember who played with it more; my dad or I?
2. Play-mobil - Not only is it great for the kids, it keeps all men silent for hours as they try and build whatever construction it is!!
3. Remote Control car - The faster the better!
4. Christmas bicycle - Always a great present and gets the children out in the fresh air while the lunch preparations take place!
5. Lego - A bit like Play-mobil, it keeps people occupied trying to build it – the more complicated, the better! It keeps Dad busy until January.
6. Board games - Fred Loves Uno, Outburst, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit and many others.
7. Roller Skates - They took a while to master and Fred was very grateful they came with knee and elbow pads and a helmet!
Make sure you check in at the other blogs taking part to find out more about this lovely festive book and the authors.