'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 9 December 2010

Review: Snowy's Christmas

Snowy the kangaroo is odd. He stands out against the rest. With his soft white fur emblazoned against the red dirt of the Australian outback and the endless cobalt skies, he's not particularly good at hiding Christmas presents because he's too easy to see.

And another thing - he doesn't bound along like the other roos - long and low against the ground. He instead bounces short and high like a bobbing helium balloon. Poor Snowy. He's just too different from his friends, but his mum loves him just the way he is. She promises him that one day his friends will want to be just like this special little roo.

Sure enough, when a mysterious, strong and pure white kangaroo appears to ask for Snowy's help, this little roo realises he may not be so unusual after all. He might even be a little special.

Indeed, when the Man in Red arrives with his tinkling sleigh drawn by a team of exhausted reindeer, it's up to Snowy to help Santa continue on his Christmas Eve run. Can this gorgeous little roo believe in himself enough to fly?

In the tradition of the Six White Boomers by Rolf Harris, this delightful book is a refreshing Christmas tale that draws on Australiana without reverting to stereotype nor schmaltz. The characters are endearing, and the message behind the storyline will touch both children and parents. It's also lovely to cheer on a little character and celebrate uniqueness and a belief in oneself (and perhaps a little magic).

At the Canberra launch of Snowy's Christmas, illustrator David (the author's brother-in-law) brought along a stunning white kangaroo plush toy which was mauled by the children and absolutely typified the lovability of this gorgeous little character.

In the book, David's illustrations are bright, charming and dotted with lovely little surprises like the platypus basking in the billabong, the adorable wombat with a reindeer headband and cockatoos perched high in a gum tree. Sapphire blue skies, beautifully Austalian terrain and Santa in an Akubra and suspenders make for a timeless depiction of Christmas in the bush.

This is a Christmas must-own for any self-respecting Aussie family.
Title: Snowy's Christmas
Author: Sally Murphy
Illustrator: David Murphy
Publisher: Random House, $19.95 RRP
Publication Date: October 2009
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781741664409
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book

This book is available online