I slid down the icy balustrade outside our town house. The chill of the evening fairly took my breath away, then, I was airborne. I landed in the flurry of snow at the base of the stairs, startling the band of carol singers who had just crossed the street.
Father opened the door and took in the scene. ‘Please forgive us,’ he said to the carol singers. ‘My singers who had just crossed the street.
Father opened the door and took in the scene. ‘Please forgive us,’ he said to the carol singers. ‘My daughter has no fear.’ Michael Pryor The Spirit of Christmas
For adults who remember the Christmas Annuals of their childhoods, Once Upon a Christmas will feel familiar, while for children who may not have encountered such an offering, it will prove an unexpected treasure. With over 150 pages of stories, poems, illustrations and more, the anthology celebrates a huge variety of Christmas traditions and imaginings.
The stories are from different cultures, and represent both Australian Christmas settings and traditions as well as those from around the world and in different time periods. The range of genres is also wide including historical fiction, modern fiction, speculative fiction, nonfiction, humour, and poetry. Black and white illustrations throughout are complemented by coloured plates in the centre of the book. Creators whose work appears in the book include Susanne Gervay, Ursula Dubosarsky, Duncan Ball, Sophie Masson and more.
Once Upon a Christmas is a book which will be treasured.
Once Upon a Christmas, compiled and edited by Beattie Alvarez
Christmas Press, 2014
Available from good bookstores and online.