A Bush Christmas, by CJ Dennis, ill by Dee Huxley

The sun burns hotly thro’ the gums
As down the road old Rogan comes –
The hatter from the lonely hut
Beside the track to Woollybutt.
He likes to spend his Christmas with us here.
He says a man gets sort of strange
Living alone without a change,
Gets sort of settled in his way;
And so he comes each Christmas day
To share a bite of tucker and a beer.

Whilst in recent years there have a wonderful range of children’s book offerings which attempt to reflect what Christmas is like in Australia, in 1931, when CJ Dennis wrote A Bush Christmas, Christmas traditions were still largely influenced by Northern Hemisphere practises. Dennis attempted, through his humorous poem, to paint a picture of an Outback Christmas, with families struggling with heat, and the hardships of rural life. The family in the poem share Christmas with a lonely neighbour, and enjoy his tales of Christmas in colder climes, which seem so far removed from what they have.

In this delightful picture book offering, illustrator Dee Huxley brings the classic poem to life with beautiful, whimsical pastel illustrations, capturing the humour of the tale and the rustic quality of the location.

This is a wonderful offering, combining a classic poem with the illustrative work of a popular contemporary illustrator and would make a great Christmas gift for any age.

A Bush Christmas, by C.J. Dennis, illustrated by Dee Huxley
Black Dog, 2008