The Tired But Crafty Mummy
Christmas Book Club
Christmas At Number 61
Come and meet the Hawkins family…
There’s Harry, 8 years old, the eldest of the children who does the smelliest of farts.
Then there’s Ben, 6, who likes to mend things by taking them apart, then has trouble putting them back together.
What about Ruby, 5, the only girl in the family who just talks, talks, talks and TALKS.
The baby of the bunch is Jonny, 3, who lives for his trains: Choo! Choo!
And not forgetting Dad, who single-handedly brings up the children, ensuring they look out for one another as their individual personalities and characters grow within each story.
The Hawkins children are excited to go their nanny and grandad’s house for Christmas. In fact, Ruby is so excited that she goes right past their red front door at number 61!
But once the children, and Dad, have tumbled through the front door and into the house they notice something shocking… Nanny and Grandad have no Christmas tree! They have no decorations at all!
And so the children get to work, determined to bring Christmas to number 61 before Santa comes to town.
From a very early age, children are introduced to stories with a very similar family dynamic, Mummy, Daddy and children. From the first books they read they are taught that this is what normal is. For many children, this is not what normal is. For them, normal might be Mummy, Mummy and Children, Daddy, Daddy & Children, Daddy and Children, Mummy and children… I’m sure you get the idea. It is always refreshing to find a book that features a family that embraces the idea that not all families are the same.
Christmas at Number 61 revolves around the Hawkins Family – A single Dad with three sons and a daughter. I love that at the start of the book you get a little insight into each character. Whilst reading this, Rory was quick to decide which character each of us were most like evermore proving that children like to be able to relate to the characters they read about and why we need to see diverse families in books! I won’t embarrass any of our family by revealing which of us were likened to Harry, who does the smelliest of farts.
The beginning of the story is one that is very familiar to many children. The extremely exciting trip to visit Grandparents. The trip is so exciting that Ruby accidentally runs straight past the front door! When they arrive, the children are crestfallen to discover that Nanny and Grandad haven’t put any Christmas decorations up. Their main confusion being that they can’t work out where Father Christmas will put the presents?! It’s down to Harry, Ben, Ruby and Jonny to bring the Christmas spirit back to number 61!
The book is based on the childhood memories of the author, Ruby Molly Hawkins. It is a story about family love and what can be achieved if everyone works together. It would be perfect for a Christmas Book Advent Calendar, especially if you opened this book the day before decorating your Christmas tree. It would be a wonderful story to get you into the mood.
It’s Christmas and the Hawkins Family are on their way to Number 61. Filled with delight, they run in to their grandparents’ home but all their excitement changes to great surprise when they find no decorations and no Christmas tree. Ruby comes up with thousands of questions for Nanny and Grandad to find out why such as “Where does Santa leave your presents if you don’t have a tree?” Harry, Ben, Ruby and Jonny soon discover that their grandparents think they’re too old. Can the Hawkins Family save Christmas? I like Ruby because all she does in the story is talk and I do the same. My favourite part is when Ruby runs past the black, metal gate and red front door of Number 61 because it’s funny because she doesn’t realise she has done it! I like the way the book is laid out. There are some pages with pictures and writing and others with just pictures. This book is about problem solving and whether the Hawkins children can save Christmas for their Grandparents! This is a wonderful and heart-warming Christmas story and I would recommend it for a Christmas Eve box. I would give it 10/10.