Christmas in summer, it's always a stunner,
the children they laugh and they play..."
Santa's having a fun day at the beach, surfing and cooking a barbecue for Mrs Claus and the reindeer. Carla Martell's beautiful, quirky illustrations offer plenty of detail for children to enjoy. Who doesn't love a day at the beach!
Sing along with this Down Under delight! This catchy new song from Suzy Cato and the Itty Bitty Beats will be a hit with young and old. You can download the song and watch the video as well.
Christmas in Summer is a delightful book that is also a catchy sing-along song by New Zealand entertainer Suzy Cato and Itty Bitty Beats. It's a sunny summer's Christmas Day in New Zealand and Santa is having a fun day at the beach, cooking a BBQ for Mrs. Claus and his reindeer, and surfing. It makes a nice change from having Christmas books that feature winter themes and it definitely reflects a Kiwi Christmas Day.
The story/ song is very simple with lots of rhyming words. The song is available to download or stream and when I searched for it, I found a fun video that also accompanies the song. The font is also easy to read for young readers. One of my favourite things about this book was the amazing illustrations by Carla Martell. Colourful, quirky, and bright illustrations make the book interesting to look at and there are lots of Kiwi icons for youngers to spot - bright pohutukawa blooms, flitting fantails, and yummy pavlovas! There are also classic Christmas icons too - snowmen, Santa hats, and Christmas tree ornaments are all hidden within the pages.
Christmas in Summer is an enjoyable fun book and song that will make any youngster smile. A great Christmas read for youngsters that live in the southern hemisphere!
With Christmas only just over a month away, Mr Two and Miss Four were thrilled to get this book. Miss Four is old enough now to really get into the mood for Christmas celebrations; as with all little ones, the excitement increasing as the date grows closer builds to an almost unbearable pitch. Mr Two is not quite old enough yet to realise what it is all about, but his sister's enthusiasm is contagious so he will be more than ready to go along with the fun.
Having the song available for streaming is perfect. Not everyone has a CD player these days as they no longer come routinely with computers, so this is a great way for the children to access their music. They both loved the song, and the YouTube track not only follows the text word for word, but also includes Suzy Cato and the Itty Bitty Beats dressed up in festive gear and dancing along to the music. This gives children the chance to follow the pictures in the book while they listen, or watch the video and join in. Two for the price of one!
Miss Four loved the illustrations. She is old enough now to think critically about what she is reading (or rather, listening to), so there are lots of questions. She knows the traditional Santa Claus story, but this version is quite different and unique to New Zealand. Santa on a surfboard and Mrs Claus relaxing on the beach while she waits for him to fire up the barbie are not what is usually on offer in a Christmas story!
The repeated chorus was great in the audio version but did not work quite so well in the print edition; both children were impatient to see what would happen next and wanted to move on quickly to the next page. Little ones tend to read books in both directions anyway - often wanting to revisit a page to remind themselves of what just happened - and certainly when they "read" to themselves, the story is not necessarily in sequence. However, it will not be long now before Miss Four can make out the words and start reading properly to her little brother.
My personal favourite is the picture of Santa in his sunnies playing a guitar in the shape of a Christmas tree star while different animals join in with drum, trumpet, and keyboard. Meanwhile the rest of the animals are singing along. Poor Santa does look a bit hot in his traditional outfit while everyone else in in summer gear, but then how would you know who he was if he had dressed for the climate? There are some traditions that just cannot be changed.
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