A delightful addition to the Winnie the Witch collection, this beautiful book will make a lovely Christmas gift.
Winnie and Wilbur are writing their letters to Santa. Wilbur wants lots of things including a wind up mouse, tins of sardines, and a cuddly blanket. Winnie, however, just wants a lovely surprise. When Christmas Eve arrives that is what she gets – but it’s not exactly the surprise that Santa had in mind. He gets stuck in their chimney for so long that he might not have time to deliver all the presents. Luckily Winnie and Wilbur find him in time and, for once, Winnie’s magic seems to be working.
I’ve lost count of the total number of books in the Winnie the Witch series (somewhere over 35!) but this is undoubtedly a delightful addition to the collection. The idea of helping Santa to deliver his presents may not be particularly original but this doesn’t matter. Christmas is a magical time for children and they’ll be more than happy to embrace this tried and tested formula. Korky Paul’s enchanting illustrations also bring something both unique and very special.
There is, as usual, a huge amount of detail in the pictures which have the potential to occupy curious eyes for much longer than normal. I particularly loved the scenes flying the sleigh over sleepy villages and then in outer space. The expressions on the two astronauts’ faces made me smile as did the subtle star constellation spelling the illustrator’s name.
There’s also a couple of very special features in this book – a fold-out thank you letter to Santa (and with it a well-placed reminder of the importance of saying thank you for presents), and the most impressive pop-up page I’ve come across. This does, however, mean that the book is more suited to the older end of the traditional picture book audience as the fold-out / pop-up pages are unlikely to withstand the adventurous fingers of the very young.
For this reason I’m not going to complain about the flimsy paper dust cover (which usually annoy me). Besides, Oxford University Press have had the good sense to replicate the eye-catching cover design underneath. Parents can either remove the cover straight off or happily throw it away if it becomes all torn and dog-eared. Overall, this is a beautiful book that will make a lovely Christmas gift. But why wait? Children will enjoy it all the more if they receive their copy earlier while they’re excitedly looking forward to Santa’s visit. They’ll be asleep so they’ll never know whether Winnie and Wilbur are with him, helping to deliver their presents.
If you enjoyed this, don’t miss Winne and Wilbur’s other adventures. Why not try Winnie’s Haunted House, Winnie’s Big Bad Robot or Winnie’s Amazing Pumpkin.
Publication date: October 2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Website: Winnie and Wilbur
Review first published on The Bookbag