We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Other Festive Poems


Imagine, ‘a telescope/ unwrapped but still a mystery,/ centred like a compass needle/ pointing the way to my heart’. Can’t we imagine the anticipation of a young Dom Conlon as he first encounters his telescope gift on a Christmas morning?

Then again, what if there was a ‘Nothingmas Day‘ where there was no ‘tingling with excitement’ and ‘children did not fountain out of bed/ with cries of WHOOPERATION!‘ Adrian Mitchell considers the absence of Christmas Day upon our seasonal calendar.

Alongside less familiar, and more contemporary works, Chris Riddell selects traditional carols, such as I Saw Three Ships and The Twelve Days of Christmas. Every selection in this pocket sized Christmas treat, is illustrated beautifully by our former Children’s Laureate.

Bookwagon considers We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Other Festive Poems, a perfect choice for sharing and indulging in each year, alongside gifting, knowing well and treasuring.

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We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Other Festive Poems

chosen and illustrated by Chris Riddell

(Pan Macmillan)

In the season ‘which brings us good cheer,/ Minced pies and plum porridge‘ Chris Riddell brings us We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Other Festive Poems. Every selection is illustrated with vivacious, illuminating pencil sketches from the former Children’s Laureate. Therefore we sing along with ‘we all like figgy pudding’. However, we’re joined by a trio of Victorian folk hailing the arrival of their fare!
Then again, alongside the familiar and traditional, we’ve wonderful narrative poetry. For example, there’s a poem from Four Winds Farm by Maureen Haselhurst. This poet paints the scene of the child awaiting the tree borne on the shoulders of her father and grandfather. Meanwhile Sue Hardy-Dawson, whom we know well from Apes to Zebras, empathises with many at this time of year, as wishes for ‘a little snow and winter cheer‘. Thereafter, she opines, ‘just for now to hold the ones I love/ and to know them safe as they are dear’. 
Bookwagon considers this lovely book to be a perfect gift. Like The Frost Goblin, this is a presentation to be taken to heart and loved. Then again, this collection is one that could be shared, read from, learned from and known. It is a quality piece, beautifully presented that we are proud to recommend.


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