A fun and festive story that will undoubtedly appeal to children. It’s very British setting also has the potential to make it a perfect festive souvenir for tourists to the UK.
It’s Christmas Eve and Buckingham Palace is a busy with comings and goings, and to-ings and fro-ings, as everyone prepares for Christmas. Everyone that is except the royal corgis: they are most definitely not amused. Christmas, they say, is not for corgis! Only one young corgi – Belle – disagrees. She peeps at the twinkling lights outside the window, sniffs the magical smell of snow, and listens to the exciting sounds on the London streets. It’s not long before she decides to slip out and join them. There’s just one problem – the reality is a bit too bright, a bit too busy and far too loud. Belle isn’t sure she likes it. But then a streetwise puppy, Pip, whisks her off on a wonderful Christmas adventure.
A Very Corgi Christmas is the perfect Christmas picture book. Young readers will easily identify with our heroine, Belle – especially her excitement about Christmas and her frustration when her family tell her she’s getting in the way of the seasonal preparations. They’re also likely to be understand her discomfort when she finds herself lost in a loud and scary city.
The story is strong with a distinct beginning, middle and end. Indeed – as I found when I tried to write the story summary above – it has a more definite plot that many picture books. There’s a clear set up in the Buckingham Palace scenes followed by Belle’s journey in a postal van and discomfort when she finds herself overwhelmed by the city. We then move on to her meeting, and adventure, with Pip before a set of scenes as they try to find a way for Belle to get back into the Palace. Even when she’s finally home, the story doesn’t end – instead, Pip mysteriously disappears and Belle finds herself wishing for a Christmas miracle that will bring them back together.
Fortunately the story, while more complex than many picture books, is easy to follow and accompanied by truly delightful illustrations. While simply drawn, the pictures of Belle have lots of character as do all our minor characters. I particularly liked the pigeons who pop up on a number of pages, along with the heap of Pip’s pals as they try to help Belle climb the wall into Buckingham Palace. It’s also great fun to see all the sights of London which include a London bus, the London Eye and Big Ben. Indeed, Pip and Belle’s adventure around the city reminded me of the montages-style trips that seem to be a statutory part of Hollywood rom-coms set in London.
Overall, this is fun and festive story that will undoubtedly appeal to children. It’s very British setting also has the potential to make it a perfect festive souvenir for tourists to the UK. If you enjoyed this and are seeking another Christmas story, why not try The Snowflake Mistake by Lou Treleaven and Maddie Frost. Alternatively, if you’re looking for another souvenir picture book about London, there’s Odd Job Frog by Colleen and Zed Jacey.