Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Christmas Read for Preschoolers

A sweet little book to read out to your preschoolers this Christmas season, Marty and the Christmas Eve Surprise by Sharon Durgin, is what I'm reviewing today.

Marty and the Christmas Eve Surprise by Sharon Durgin

About the Book

Genre: Children's Picture Books, Christmas
Author: Sharon Durgin
Illustrator: Joan Coleman
Publisher: Lanier Press
Marty, the resident house mouse, bands together with his group of Christmas friends to plan their annual Christmas Eve show. With fun friends like Betty the Ballerina, Bruno and the Teddy Bear Brigade, and the two mischievous house cats, Leo and Emma, the night will be full of surprises.


Spun around some adorable situations, Marty and the Christmas Eve Surprise is a sweet and short tale that celebrates the Christmas spirit. The book begins with Marty's excitement over meeting his friends - the Christmas tree ornaments - that are being taken out from the boxes that they were tucked away in since last Christmas. Then comes the next surprise that Marty has been waiting to announce. Santa Claus has chosen their house this year to rest on the night of Christmas eve. So they all start to prepare a great Christmas party for him. What happens thereafter forms the main story. 

I would recommend this picture book for early readers and for beginner learners of EFL or ESL. The simple yet vivid illustrations explain the story well enough in case the reader finds any of the words unfamiliar. For children who cannot read on their own, the book maybe read out to them and the illustrations shown. The names of the characters are alliterated - Marty the mouse, Betty the ballerina, Nathan the nutcracker and so on - adding to the rhythm in the text, another reason why this book should be read out aloud.

What I like the best about this book is its simple message that resonates with the true meaning of Christmas. When Marty and his friends prepare for the Christmas surprise, the do not include the house cats Emma and Leo, as they do not see how they could contribute to the party. But they later on join by offering to sing a special Christmas song for Santa. As is the case in this story, it often takes the third eye to see the gift in each person.

This Christmas, let us resolve to look for those special gifts in each one of us and have an inclusive celebration, that is true to its spirit.

About the Author

Sharon Durgin is a designer in the engineering business and an active member of Toastmasters International. With her love of the spoken and written word she has created Marty and the Christmas Eve Surprise. This is her first book, and she looks forward to publishing more stories of Marty’s life. Learn more about her from her website and follow her on Facebook for updates on her books.
[Stock photography by Carmen Creative. Review copy courtesy Lanier Press and Netgalley.]

This post is also part of the #WYChristmasReadathon we're hosting at Writerly Yours.

Lastly, here's sharing a little Christmas craft for you to try out. I made these Christmas ornaments from some of the old ice cream jar lids that were simply lying around.

You can learn how to make these from my tutorial here. If you share them on Instagram, please mention me @priyaprithviraj. I can't wait to see what designs you'll come up with!

Wishing you a very merry Christmas,