I remember loving this book when i was younger. I was a definite Angelina Ballerina fan! I think I still am! Angelina at Christmas is a charming story about loneliness and giving at christmas time.
Mr Bell is an old retired postman mouse who lives on his own. One day, whilst walking home, Angelina peeps into his window and sees him all alon huddled over his fire.
Angelina being the kind hearted little mouse that she is, decides to bake some biscuits for him as a surprise. Henry (Angelina's little cousin) decides he would like to make some biscuits too, so he proudly makes a big Father Christmas shaped biscuit. He wants to give his biscuit to Father Christmas! Angelina tells him not to be silly and Henry bursts into tears.
The next day the mice all go to Mr Bells house with the biscuits and some other presents for him. Henry is still upset and lags behind. Mr Bell is delighted to see them. Then, 'Wait here a moment,' he says and disappears up the stairs.
When he comes down he is dressed just like Father Christmas! Henry is astonished and immediately perks up. Mr Bell explains that one year he had to wear the costume at the village Christmas party when Father Christmas needed someone to take his place.
At the end of the visit, Henry gives Mr Bell the special father christmas shaped biscuit that he made. Mr Bell is delighted and says that it is the best present he has ever received. He then agrees to come to Angelinas school show in his Father Christmas costume.
Of course there is a happy ending and Mr Bell is never lonely at Christmas again because every year after that he is invited to come to Angelinas show dressed as Father Christmas!
The Oxford Christmas Storybook
Now this book, (mine actually has a slightly different cover to this one here) is one of my top top favourite chrildren's books at Christmas time! It really really gets you into the festive mood. 'Stories about robins, trees, bells, cakes, puddings, presents, snowmen, goblins, carol singers, Brer Rabbit, the Wise Men, Father Christmas (and his dog)- they're all here!'
My two favourite stories from the whole collection are 'Gifts' by Adele Geras and The christmas cake by John Gordon.
I like 'Gifts' becasue it really captures that magical feeling you get on Christmas Eve. It's about a girl called Rachel who's ornaments come to life and start talking to her. 'All animals, even ones made of wood and clay and metal can speak on Christmas Eve.' The animals persuade Rachel to give a christmas gift to her friend Rukshana even though Rukshana does not celebrate Christmas. 'Gifts at Christmas tiem are lovely.'
Rachel decided to give Rukshana her beautiful snowstorm. And this is the reason why I love this story so much. Just look at the picture of the snowstorm! It's magical!
'The Christmas Cake,' is another story which really captures the atmosphere of Christmas. 'Nisha had nothing to do. She had played with all her toys, christmas dinner was over, and now it was dark outside and everyone in the house seemed to be asleep.'
You can really hear the silence in this story. 'It was so quiet she could very nearly hear the tinsel glittering.'
Nisha wanders into the room where the table is all set for tea. She peers into a cracker and sees a little man inside singing carols. Suddenly she finds herself inside the cracker too! She follows the little man (called Crackerjack) out of the other side of the cracker and across the table to the Christmas cake.
Then follows an adventure on top of the Christmas cake which to Nisha has now become a huge white snowy sugary expanse! I think this is a wonderful concept for a story!