By Author / Illustrator
Mel Taylor-Bessent, Selom Sunu
Paperback / softback
'A Christmas book about kindness and cheer to make even Scrooge's heart melt' Dame Jacqueline Wilson
Funny festive middle grade about the world's most Christmassy family from the founder of Authorfy, perfect for 8+ readers and fans of Matt Haig, Ben Miller, Sibeal Pounder's Tinsel, and the Nativity! films
Wish it could be Christmas every day? Well, for nine-year-old Holly Carroll and her family, it is! Living her merriest life in a house with year-round fairy lights and Christmas trees, a carol-singing toilet and a diva donkey who thinks he's a reindeer, home-schooled Holly tries to spread cheer wherever she goes.
But when she goes to a new school with a singing Santa backpack and first day Christmas cards (during a heatwave in September!), she realises not everyone shares her enthusiasm for spreading cheer. In fact, when the neighbours try to remove the Carrolls from the street and Holly discovers a group of children that may not get a Christmas at all, her snowglobe world begins to crack. Is the world's most Christmassy girl about to lose her Christmas spirit?
The Christmas Carrolls is a heartwarming, hilarious and inclusive tale about the power of spreading cheer, the magic of friendship and what really matters at this most wonderful time of the year.
You will find Christmas chaos and joy in overdrive in this hilarious, festive and warm spirited story of the MOST Christmas loving family ever. Every second of the Carrolls' lives are dedicate to sharing and celebrating the Christmas spirit of love, happiness, kindness and cheer. Young Holly Carroll is beyond excited when the family moves to the 3rd most-Christmas-named street in the country - Sleigh Ride Avenue. This also means she cannot wait to finally attend a proper school and take along with her a Christmas sense of fun, joy and glad tidings for others to enjoy.
The Carrolls are so affectionately and delightfully described by the author that the reader is drawn to them immediately. There are plenty of fun and infectious moments in the story; a giddy Holly skipping and singing her way into her first day of school with her Backpack of Cheer (her own invention) is almost like a scene from classic Christmas films like Elf and is a joy to read. I love the little, clever connections that can be made throughout the film. Holly's new (very non festive) class is called Dickens class. Dickens, of course, being the famous author of A Christmas Carol with it's infamous 'Bah, Humbug', main Christmas hating main character Scrooge. Holly is a breath of fresh air and bowls over her classmates, one way or another. Quiet, shy and more cynical classmate Archer finds he can’t ignore or dismiss Holly's inherent positivity and optimism.
As a foster child, having moved from home to home, he has a very different outlook on life to her. The growing friendship between two such different characters is a real strength to the story. When Holly realizes Christmas isn't the be all and end all for everyone - and also realizes some of the sad reasons for this - her Christmas bubble of cheer is deflated and the reader genuinely feels so sorry for her experiencing some harsher facts of life for the first time. Holly's real Christmas spirit, however, is in the kindness and determination she continues to show, in order to put some sparkle into everyone's lives. She refuses to let anyone dim her spirit and heart.
The Christmas Carrolls is a magical story that shimmers with fun. Lovely illustrations by Selom Sunu add to the lively nature of the book and there is a cast of characters to wrap your hearts in tinsel, (who wouldn't love a donkey who thinks it’s a reindeer?) a Scrooge like neighbour and a community coming together under the fairy lights. The story glistens with goodness and makes the Christmas message perfect for any time of year.
336 pages / Reviewed by Jennifer Caddick, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 7+