Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Festive picture books from Owlet Press (review)

Can you believe that in two week's time, we'll all be sitting around feeling bloated after eating too much turkey and too many mince pies and Christmas will officially be over ! Right now though, you'd better watch out, you'd better not cry, you'd better be good, I'm telling you why ... Santa Claus is coming to town ! Oops sorry, I got slightly sucked in by the festive hype there, but seriously for a minute, if you're looking for new ways to keep the Christmas sparkle going in your house over the coming weeks, how about investing in some festive picture books to read with your kids? They'd be perfect for bedtimes in the run up to the big day or maybe you could start a new tradition and create a gift box especially for Christmas Eve with some funky pyjamas, festive nibbles and some well-chosen picture books inside. These two from Owlet Press would be ideal.

Our first discovery was Santa's Wish, by Samuel Langley-Swain. In this charming tale, you'll be swept away in the festive fun when two children visit Father Christmas and ask him what HE wants for Christmas. As you'd expect, he comes up with the perfect answer and tells them to give love. All together now - awwww !

The pictures accompanying the texts are understated, largely in black and white with just a few details added in colour. This works really well and we loved looking at the illustrations to point out all the cute little details, such as leaving out a carrot for the reindeer. The Madhouse kids loved the animals, both pets and wild animals at the North Pole, getting involved in the Christmas festivities, tucking into festive treats and decorating the trees.

It's a book that, with its close family unit and all the Santa magic. will leave you with a lovely warm feeling inside, whatever your age !

Our second title was The Christmas Next Door, also by Samuel Langley-Swain, along with T.A. Creasey.

Glancing at the back of the book had me giggling to myself : "Grandad's coming to stay for Christmas ! What could possibly go wrong?". Thinking about the Madhouse Grandad, I could think of a few things !

As is often the case, despite all the preparations, things don't all go to plan for the Christmas celebrations in the story. Daughter Lily, who has autism, suffers a meltdown during the school nativity play and, on the big day itself, Christmas dinner ends up being slightly cremated ! Grandad always has the perfect solution though and brings out a dvd with a special Christmas message from Granny, who has now passed away.

This is a lovely way of reminding us all about what really matters at Christmas - family and those we love - especially as this will be our first Christmas since Madhouse Daddy died. It is very easy, especially as an adult, to get totally wrapped up in unimportant details and forget about the true spirit of the season, so this is a lovely, heartwarming story to read together.

Santa's Wish has an RRP of £5.99 and The Christmas Next Door retails at £7.99.

for more information :

Disclosure : We received the books in order to write an honest review.


  1. Sounds great

  2. Beautiful books, with important messages. And that is so true, we forget the true meaning of Christmas behind all the flurry of gifts and food prep. Christmas is a poignant time for many people who have lost their loved ones.

    1. It's nice to see it in book form too - it shows that it's "normal" and other people go through the same things :)

  3. I don't know how you find the time to read the books and write your very helpful reviews but thank you!

    1. Pierre's off sick with an ear infection at the moment so I got an extra couple of bonus days off ! ;-)


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