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

Monday 27 November 2023

Review: Ayla's Christmas Wish

Ayla has a Christmas checklist and everything is being ticked off. The trees are sparkling, the stockings are hung, the gingerbread house is ready and Santa has come to town.

But something is missing from the list. Something important. A snowy, chilly friend with a carrot for a nose and hat on top.

Ayla’s family try to help, pointing out snowman decorations and cookies and characters in a book. Ayla isn’t satisfied with any of the suggestions, but, really, it’s just too hot for a snowman in the Australian outback.

Christmas creeps closer, and Ayla's hopes of having a real snowman start to fade, but she still secretly wishes a miracle will happen. 

Is there any way a snowman can be ticked off Ayla’s Christmas list? Can her Christmas wish come true?

Ayla’s Christmas Wish is a joyful and very Australian Christmas picture book. It pulls together the common traditions for a hot Christmas, like Santa visiting in a fire truck and decorating native trees with Christmas lights.

At the back of the book there are photos and images from the National Library of Australia’s archives. They share Australian families through history and the traditions that have evolved when Christmas is warm, rather than cold and snowy.

The illustrations are fun, soft and beautiful, with loads of little details injected into the pages. There's loads to explore and lots to connect with. Loads of traditions you'll recognise as being very Australian. 

This is a beautiful picture book from debut author Pamela Jones and illustrator extraordinaire Lucia Masciullo. It highlights a different kind of Christmas, but one that kids across Australia will relate to and cheer for. This is my new favourite Christmas picture book! Highly recommended for Christmas fans everywhere. 

Title: Ayla's Christmas Wish
Author: Pamela Jones 
Illustrator: Lucia Masciullo
Publisher: National Library of Australia, $24.99
Publication Date: 1 November 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781922507617
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book