Monday, 10 December 2018

Christmas Mash-Up! by Pippa Goodhart

Bookshops are currently bright with selections of wonderful children’s Christmas books. Many of those books are picture books, and nearly all are books with pictures. There’s a brief but intense selling window for such books, and competition for sales is stiff.


How best to compete amongst the glitter and beauty and fun of it all? The Nativity story is there in multiple forms, of course. So too are many stories about Santa and snowmen and elves and Christmas trees and nativity trees and presents. But there’s a new trend that I’ve noticed particularly because I’ve played a part in it. I’m calling it ‘the Christmas mash-up book.’ 
We all know some key trigger children’s book character and story types which have appeal – unicorns, diggers, monsters, fairies, dinosaurs, underpants, witches, fluffy bunnies and more – and now some of those characters have crossed what used to be an invisible boundary into Christmas. 

So, for instance, here we have dinosaurs mixing with Christmas fun in Timonthy Knapman and Sarah Warburton's Dinosaurs Go Christmas Shopping 

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Fred Blunt pairs the Easter Bunny with Father Christmas, mixing originally religious festivals which have become more general to society. Easter Bunny is furious that Santa Claus has elves to do all the work of making the presents he gives whilst Bunny has to make the chocolate eggs himself. So Easter Bunny hatches a dastardly plan ….  But of course it all ends in a funnily big-hearted way.

I was asked to write a Christmas chapter book story about Winnie the Witch and her cat Wilbur. Mixing witches with Santa? Here’s James Brown’s new book, Jingle Spells

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There’s even been a Winnie the Witch picture book done before. In this one Winnie gets to fly with Santa –
 Image result for winnie and wilbur meet santa image
So I had to think of a story that didn’t have Winnie flying with Santa on his sleigh. In my story (written under the fake name of Laura Owen), Winnie suddenly realises that if Santa delivers presents to everybody, there will still be one person still left out; Santa himself. That’s not fair! So in this Santa Surprise story Winnie and Wilbur try to deliver a Christmas surprise to Santa, with inevitable daft disasters that culminate in success of a kind they hadn’t thought of. Korky Paul has turned it all into a wonderfully wild and whacky visual story, showing that ‘picture books’ can overlap with chapter books.

Image result for winnie and wilbur santa surprise image

So, what would you like to see mashed-up with Christmas on the bookshelves next year?

And if anybody would like to give a child in need a wonderful book gift this year, do visit the Book Trust's website where you can donate -

Happy Christmas!   

1 comment:

Garry Parsons said...

I can't help myself but add another book to your list of festive mash-ups.

The Tooth Fairy's Christmas by Peter Bently and Garry Parsons !