This book is a
gorgeous, heartwarming journey into the wonders of Christmas. It takes us into
the inner suburbs of Melbourne (which could translate to any city in the world,
really!), with its palpable sense of kindness, friends, neighbours and family
coming together for festive celebrations.
illustrations are sublime, immediately inviting us in to the colourful world of
Zola and her family, friends and neighbours. I actually wanted to climb in to
the friendly classroom with Zola and her buddies and their delightful teacher,
as they investigated the traditions of Diwali, Hannukah, Ramadan …
tradition are at the heart of this story, as are diversity and culture.
Families and neighbours get together to cook, string up Christmas lights, make
food for those without and celebrate Christmas day. Indeed, this book quickly
gets to the very important task at its core, which is a wholesome, cheerful
celebration of the simple joy of being together.
And more – the
illustrations are sublime. Hudson’s offerings are detailed, light-filled,
festive, colourful, warm and inviting. As an example, those pictures depicting
carefully tended gardens full of flowers, veggies, children, pets and play
equipment elicit a strong sense of wanting to dive into each page to become a
part of the festivities, so beware!
recognise their own families, friends and neighbours, as well as multicultural
festive customs, within these pages. Inclusivity, joy and community spirit
shine brightly along with a central message of light and hope, which is
A very special Christmas offering.
Love Zola? Spend more time with her after reading, Shaye’s reviews of the junior fiction series, What Zola Did On …
Title: Zola and The Christmas Lights
Author: Melina Marchetta
Illustrator: Deb Hudson
Publisher: Penguin, $19.99
Publication Date: October 2022
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book