illustrated by Ingela P Arrhenius
“A is for Angel, on top of a tree.
B is for Bow, being tied carefully.”
This spectacular lift-the-flap Christmas alphabet book is also a play scene and a fabulous festive frieze to decorate your room!
“An adorable alphabet journey … Children are bound to delight in the lift-the-flaps, which reveal colourful and Christmassy images on every page”
SCOTTISH BOOK TRUST
“Tiny hands will find the large panels easy to navigate, and bright simple images will delight both parents and child over and over again.”
The idea to follow up Alphabet Street with a Christmas book in the same format came from publisher Nosy Crow. The first version of Christmas Street I created featured a non-alphabetised rhyming text in which animal characters engaged in various festive activities. A lot of fun winter activities, like sledging or building a snowman, take place outdoors and the pages in the middle of this version showed characters playing in a snowy park where a carol concert was taking place.
Although Nosy Crow quite liked the first version, editor Victoria England asked me If I could do another draft of the text with an alphabetised rhyme that followed the same structure as Alphabet Street. Each line of Alphabet Street includes a noun and a verb that begins with the same letter and writing rhymes that followed this pattern AND had a Christmas theme proved very challenging. Can you think of any Christmas related activities that begin with an X without resorting to questionable options like “Xmas gift wrapping” or “Xing kisses on a card”?
I wasn’t happy with several of the verses in this second version, so I wrote a third version where each line of the rhyme contained just one alphabetised word and this is the version that’s used in the book.
While all of the ground floor spaces in Alphabet Street are occupied by shops, the ground floor of Christmas Street alternates between shops and homes. Nosy Crow had initially suggested that the shops might take the form of stalls in a Christmas market, but in the end the stalls were moved to the park panorama on the reverse side of the book, which also includes the outdoor activities I’d initially suggested for the mid-street park scene in my first version of the book.
I knew illustrator Ingela P Arrhenius would do a good job, but I was bowled over by her artwork when I first saw it. Her streetscape, interiors and parkland panorama are packed with appealing characters and details. And the colour palette Ingela has used for this book, filled with seasonal reds and greens, combined with the garlands, ornaments and trimmings that decorate the buildings, give the whole street a wonderfully festive feel.
“This festive rhyme is an ABC and lift-the-flap book all in one. Tiny hands will find the large panels easy to navigate, and bright simple images will delight both parents and child over and over again.”
Marianne Levy, THE I
“An adorable alphabet journey through all the magical, festive sights of Christmas Street. Children are bound to delight in the lift-the-flaps, which reveal colourful and Christmassy images on every page, and you’ll love cosying up with them too.”
SCOTTISH BOOK TRUST
“Christmas Street by Jonathan Emmett and Ingela P Arrhenius is a delightful double-sided concertina book. Little ones will be mesmerised by Arrhenius’ distinctive, bright artwork, and the many cute Christmas scenes. With an abundance of festive cheer, this lovely book imagines a street full of nostalgic shop-fronts with the chance to lift the flap and peer behind each window to find part of an alphabet story. A gorgeous, magical book to be treasured.”
Emma Dunn, THE SCOTSMAN
“This might just be the best toddler book for Christmas 2021. Fantastic for little ones to explore and engage with, this house-shaped book stretches out to create a huge festive play-scene … Not only do you feel like you’re discovering a festive wonderland as you unfold it along the floor and look at the detail on each scene, but there are also lots of big flaps to lift on the shop side, taking us from A-Z, with a seasonal word underneath each. … Spectacular in every way!”
Caz Cook, TEENY READERS
“Christmas Street is a creative, interactive and absolutely gorgeous wonderland of a book! … It is awesome!! If you’re a fan of all things Christmas, you must add this to your list. My words can simply not do it justice.”
GET KIDS BOOKED
“So much more than a book. The stunning illustrations give it a second use as a prop to decorate a space or use as a backdrop to a play set up. The back of the shops is an incredible snowy scene. This really is a must have Christmas book this year.”
RAISING SMALL READERS