So of course I’m going to post a review of a kids Christmas book before December 25-how could I not? Books are probably the one thing I never hesitate to give my kids. Confession: I love buying toys. I absolutely adore visiting Toys R Us and any other toy store, but I prevent myself from spoiling them with too much because I worry about the effect it will have on them. Books however, are a different story. My kids have a wonderful library of their very own to enjoy, and around holidays, I always make sure to have a few wrapped up for them to add to their collection.
Luckily, being a book reviewer, I get lots of books sent to me too (I’d go broke buying books otherwise!) , and every once in a while that includes picture books. Most recently, I received a copy of b.b. cronin’s The Lost Christmas, the third in his ‘lost’ series, which are basically seek and find books. I had never heard of this author/illustrator before, but this book is stunning. For those parents who are also into design, this series is definitely for them. This kind of book is something adults would display on their coffee table even if they didn’t have kids; the neon colours are so eye-catching, and the matte finish is reminiscent of books from the 1950s and 60s.
Is the text ground-breaking? No, not really. But does anyone pay attention to the text/story in seek and find books? Probably not. The illustrations (which are done in acrylic paints) are what make this book truly stand out. There is so much to look at, I found myself flipping through it on my own just to see what else I could find. Something else about this book that I appreciated is that the instructions are somewhat ambiguous for the kids. It doesn’t just list the items to find, it leaves a bit to the imagination, it forces kids to think for themselves, sometimes they even have to flip between the pages to find the correct object they’re looking for. So for that reason, I would place the ages of this book at 4/5 and up, although my 3.5 year old still looked forward to reading this, and she was able to find SOME of the things. To be completely honest, I struggled to find everything too. It’s not easy, but it’s fun.
Whimsical is probably the best word to describe The Lost Christmas. It may not be educational in the most obvious sense, but it’s a gorgeous piece of art, and one that I’m proud to add to my kids’ collection!