Reviewed by Liz Ward, Primary School Teacher (Junior Teacher Year1/2) at Tainui School
Right away the title makes a connection with the reader. This is especially so for New Zealanders celebrating a classic Christmas in the summer and having fresh strawberries for Christmas dinners. Readers will be able to identify with Sam the main character.
Sam and his family have shifted into a new house and he is finding it hard to settle into a different environment being so close to Christmas. The hero of the day is Sam’s lovely neighbour, Mrs Leaphy, who invites Sam to spend time with her helping in her garden over the summer. With Christmas looming closer, new traditions present themselves for Sam’s family thanks to Mrs Leaphy and her strawberries. The story is beautifully illustrated, giving a whimsical, magic feel to this heart-warming family story.
A story to be read at Christmas time, with the reminder of the lovely traditions that families share at this special time of year.