Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Christmas Orange

The Christmas Orange

Don Gillmor
Illustrator:   Marie-Louise Gay 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2003   ISBN: 978-1550050752

Anton Stingley was born on Christmas day, so every Christmas his parents gave him a ridiculous number of presents. Before his sixth birthday Anton went to see Santa at the department store and he gave the old man his wish list. It was sixteen pages long. Anton knew what he wanted for Christmas and he expected to get it.

You can imagine how he felt therefore when he woke up on Christmas Day to find that there was just a single present under his Christmas tree and inside the wrapping there was an orange. He got nothing else at all. Furious about this "neglect", Anton decided to sue Santa. So he hired a soulless lawyer and took Santa to court.

The lawyer was presenting a very good case until Santa stepped forward and began to speak. He reminded the lawyer of a gift he gave the lawyer when he was a little boy. He explained to the court why he did not bring Anton any more toys ? because Anton already had more toys then he knew what to do with. And then Santa did something which shocked everyone.

In this very special picture book, children will meet a child who has quite forgotten what Christmas is about. They will meet a child who is ungrateful and who threatens to undermine Santa's belief in himself and his work. Thankfully Anton fixes his mistake before it is too late.

With delightfully charming illustrations and humorous characters, this is a Christmas book which will give young children that gentle reminder that presents in large quantities are not what they should be looking forward to in the Christmas season. Sometimes something as simple as an orange can be precious and giving can be as delightful as receiving.