18 December 2009

Snowy’s Christmas

by Sally Murphy, Illustrated by David Murphy

Random House. Australian, Picture book. Hardcover rrp $19.95

This is a truly Australian Christmas tale although many of the traditional story elements are still firmly in place. Santa and his reindeers have an important role but the star of this book is Snowy the kangaroo.

Snowy is the wrong colour. He is white, not red like the other roos. And he doesn’t hop properly. Snowy bounces short and high, instead of long and low.

It’s not easy being different. But one day another albino kangaroo appears. He’s big and strong, and he wants Snowy to come with him on an urgent mission. Snowy bounds off on an adventure that leads him to Santa Claus, who is looking for a little extra help pulling the sleigh. What Santa really needs is one more high-jumping white kangaroo. A roo just like Snowy.

Young children will love David Murphy’s illustrations of Snowy and Santa’s other white kangaroo helpers. They will have fun pointing out the Australian birds and animals on every page. Each has been given a special Christmas touch. My favourite was the echidna with a star pinned into his quills. Or maybe the koala, dozing beside his Christmas stocking.

Recently, I read this story to a group of preschool children. Or to be correct, I should say I read it six times. I had a pile of books with me but it was the story of Snowy they wanted to hear over and over again. So if you are looking for a picture book Christmas present I can guarantee this one will be a successful choice.


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