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A Child’s Literary Christmas by Anna James


Anna James has collected stories for children about Christmas.  She includes in this collection excerpts from many well-known and well-loved stories.  There are also several less well-known ones. 

Could it be a little frustrating for the newly fluent reader? These are mainly partial stories and they don’t all resolve. Or might it serve as an introduction to the longer works? It may also be a useful source of stories for a primary teacher to read aloud at the end of a busy day in the period just before Christmas. 

The book has a very attractive cover and is quite robust.  Yet it would be comfortable enough for young hands to hold.  It contains several attractive illustrations.  Some of the stories start on a navy blue background with cream lettering. The second page is then orange with black lettering. These may seem odd.  The section breaks are in the same shade of blue as the cover.  The font is small and adult, with difficult ‘a’s and ‘g’s yet the text is formatted ragged right.  


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Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …