Books & Literature

Book Review: That Christmas Feeling, by Lili Wilkinson, illustrated by Amanda Francey

Dottie and her brother Jem are staying with their grandparents, comparing the differences with how they celebrated last year with their parents.

That Christmas Feeling is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that shares the things that make that magical Christmas feeling come to life for Dottie. She and her brother Jem are staying with their grandparents and are awaiting the return of their parents while comparing the differences between last year’s activities and those they are experiencing this year.

The illustrations by Amanda Francey are warm and appealing, giving the reader the feeling of family and Christmas, even those which show the alternatives required when staying with elderly grandparents. The text explains the reasons for the differences kindly and in a non-judgemental way.

The story does not indicate the reason for the parents being absent until they arrive late on Christmas Eve with a baby called Holly. It is at this point that Dottie really feels the Christmas feeling she has been longing for, a feeling described as, “That fuzzy, exciting feeling, where everything is a bit magical.” The full-page illustration of Dottie, in Reindeer antlers, holding her baby sister on the second to last page is heart-warming.

This is a Christmas book for any child expecting a new family member around Christmas time or any young child who will enjoy a story about family activities based on Christmas traditions.

It is a book to be read and shared over and over again.

Reviewed by Leanne Caune

Rating out of 10:  9

Distributed by: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: October 2017
RRP: $19.99 hardcover

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