The Sand Sleigh

The Tired But Crafty Mummy
Christmas Book Club
The Sand Sleigh

Sand Sleigh

It is Christmas Eve on a warm summer’s day and Charlie has been building festive sand sculptures on the beach. Filled with excitement, Charlie joins her family and the marching band on the way to the village carol service. An unexpected encounter with Santa then leads to her exciting day continuing into a magical evening when he needs her help to save Christmas

Mummy’s Review

When children first start out on their reading journey, they are often sent home from school with books with no words, often to the bafflement of parents.  How on earth can a child learn to read if there are no words?  Firstly, books with no words help children to develop their reading etiquette.  You can talk to them about where the cover is and what is on the cover, leading to what the story might be about.  It’s always good to practise those prediction skills! They are then able to practise the art of reading a book – where to start the story from, turning pages etc.  This may seem obvious but that’s because its second nature to adults but it’s something early readers need to master.  The other great thing about books with no words is that anyone can read them.  It allows children to use their imagination to retell the story and you may well be surprised at how that goes!  Children will often pick up on small details in the pictures that others may totally miss.  Finally, children can get great satisfaction from these books because they were able to read it.  There is no struggling with the words, remembering phonics etc they can simply enjoy telling you the story and feel proud that they read the book!  Books without words don’t need to be exclusive to early readers and in fact older children will also love using their imagination to tell a story in their own way.

Rory and I really enjoyed sharing the story of The Sand Sleigh together.  It was great to hear his interpretation of the story.  It was also wonderful to read a Christmas story which wasn’t set in a cold, snowy setting.  Instead, the Sand Sleigh is set where they are celebrating Christmas in the summer with glorious sunshine and creating festive sand sculptures.  It was a fantastic opportunity to highlight the science that whilst it may be winter in UK (and many other countries) on the other side of the world they are enjoying Summer.  It was also a great way to talk about how each country celebrates Christmas in different ways!  Rory was quite surprised to hear that Christmas crackers are a very British thing!  The Sand Sleigh is a great Christmas story filled with both adventure, jeopardy and magic.  Santa’s sleigh is hit by lightening so how will he manage to deliver all the presents by Christmas morning?!  It is a fantastic book to share in the lead up to the big day!

Rory’s Review

It’s Christmas Eve on a warm summer’s day in Australia and Charlie is creating festive sand sculptures on the beach.  After lots of carol singing, everyone is asleep.  Father Christmas’ sleigh is struck by lightening and it’s up to Charlie to save Christmas for everyone. But will she succeed?
This is an excellent book for young children and those who like to use their imagination because there are no words.  The pictures guide you when you think up the story and so the story changes a little bit every time you read it.
The character I think is best is Charlie because she is good at working in a team.  My favourite part is when Father Christmas shows Charlie his grotto because he think Young Charlie will keep it a secret.  This would be a fantastic book for a Christmas Book Advent Calendar or for a Christmas Eve box.  I would give this book 10/10.


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