This is my first Christmas book purchase of the year, and what a cracker (excuse the pun…) it is!  How Winston Delivered Christmas has been ingeniously devised, written and illustrated by the multi-talented Alex T Smith (of both Mr Penguin and Claude fame) and is certain to be a festive hit.

The book has been written as an advent story, with 24 and a half chapters for you to share with the family on a daily basis from 1 December onwards.  The star of the story is Winston, a rather lovely but grubby white mouse, who discovers on Christmas Eve that a letter for Santa didn’t make the post.  Dismayed at the thought of a child not receiving any presents from ‘Big Santy C’ (as Tom Fletcher would say…), Winston embarks on a trip to deliver the letter personally to Santa, meeting some fab new friends on his exciting adventure and ultimately learning that kindness always pays…

Each chapter of the book is followed by a festive activity, all of which are suitable for children regardless of age (younger children might require some supervision depending on the craft), and more importantly, won’t break the bank.  While you might not have all the crafty things needed at home, there are definitely enough activities that just require the basics.  Here’s one we tackled at the weekend – our very own Winston mouse (as you can see we substituted white card for blue!)…

I am definitely a firm fan of Winston.  It’s a lovely, engaging and heart-warming book that even the most festively-challenged scrooge couldn’t fail to enjoy.  The writing is beautifully descriptive, the illustrations colourful and detailed, carols and poems are included at the back and there’s a lovely ribbon book mark to help keep your place.  Plus, the crafts might just keep kids occupied and parents sane during those frantic days leading up to Dec 25 (don’t quote me on that, though!).  While I doubt that you will be able to do away with chocolate advent calendars completely, this is the sort of book that would make a fantastic advent gift and become an annual family tradition over the years.  I know that it certainly will in our house.  I’m now off to have my first mince pie (or 4…) – ho, ho, ho…


How Winston Delivered Christmas

Author & Illustrator: Alex T Smith
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781785175350
Hardback: 176 pages


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