Imagine a Christmas book that has no tree festooned with baubles but shows a tiny robin perched on a branch. There are no snow-mantled landscapes either, just a penguin at the edge of a page hinting at snow nearby. Instead of reindeers with jingling bells on their harness, you can hear wild reindeer treading on soft snow. We see no Santa Claus, just a dad racing to the toyshop; and there’s no toy soldier, but a real soldier home for the holidays is the best gift for his son. The book that Kyriakos Haritos asks readers to imagine strips Christmas of fancy extras, shiny new toys and over-worked symbols. It takes them back to the magic of the season, the spirit of giving, the bonds of affection.
Daniela Stamatiadi’s gorgeous illustrations play with ideas across full-page spreads, lingering on the delight in young faces as they witness small marvels.