Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Lily and the Christmas Wish, Keris Stainton

Pages: 166
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Release Date: 5th November 2015
Edition: UK paperback, review copy

Can one little girl and her dog make a town’s Christmas wishes come true?

Christmas is fast approaching, and the town of Pinewood has decided to do something really special to celebrate. Each person will write down a secret wish and tie it to the town’s Christmas tree!

Nine-year-old Lily isn’t quite convinced. She's not sure that she believes in wishes coming true – although she really wants to.

But then a strange storm blows in, scattering the wishes…and Lily wakes up the next morning to find that her adorable pug puppy, Bug, can talk! It's a wish come true…only it isn’t Lily’s wish.

It seems the storm has sent the Christmas magic awry, and now it's down to Lily, her youngest brother James and Bug to sort out the mixed-up wishes. But can they fix things before Christmas Eve?

Lily and the Christmas Wish is Keris Stainton’s first foray into young fiction and it made my heart smile.

Though this book is about magic and Christmas and the most adorable talking pug in existence (I can have Bug, yeah?), what Keris excels at is writing families and relationships. Lily and Jimmy’s parents have recently split up and Dad is living in a canal boat just a short walk from their house, but it still takes Lily a while to adjust to the new situation every time she sees him. Lily is a dutiful big sister in protecting Jimmy from being scared of the storm and talks of letting him climb into her bed when mum and dad used to argue. Grandad hasn’t really left the house since Grandma died. Everything is so real in Keris’s novels; there’s never a big showy point or an ‘issue’ to be tackled, there are just the things that happened in and around a kid’s life as they grow up.

But it is also about Christmas magic. I loved the small town setting of Pinewood where all the shops are deliciously named and everyone knows everyone. I liked the glimpse we got into random side characters from Lily, Jimmy and Bug returning the wishes they placed on the town Christmas tree to their rightful owners after a storm blew them away and granted the wishes to the wrong person. It’s such a fun idea and it was cool how it showed that even the adults of Pinewood couldn’t resist the possibility that their wishes might come true.

Warm, funny and sweet – perfect for a Christmas evening whatever your age.

Thanks to Hot Key/Piccadilly Press for the review copy.


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