It’s just days before Christmas, Dad is busy hanging decorations as Mum prepares lunch to which Gran, who lives down the lane, is invited. Eight-year-old Lucy is writing a wish list for Santa while her older brother Oscar, a grump and a know-it-all, scoffs at her for believing in such childish things. Top of Lucy’s list is a kitten, not a stuffed toy, which she’s received in previous years, but a real-life pet that she can look after in the way that Gran looks after her rescue animals. That night, she wakes up to a wondrous scene of snow outside and sparkling stars within her bedroom. Underneath her pillow is a letter from Santa, seeking her help in nursing back to health his smallest reindeer.
The story radiates peace, happiness and Christmas cheer. It makes little demand on the reader yet the blurring of fantasy and reality into a seamless whole and the underlying reassurance created by the characters’ affability result in an enchanting story. Even Oscar sheds his big-boy attitude as he becomes involved in the magical events. Divided into chapters with text set large, the story reads fluently, the clarity of its writing style perfectly pitched to its young readership. Large, softly pencilled illustrations add to the story’s gentle appeal.