Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve
What a pleasure to review Rudie Nudie Christmas, a charming book for toddlers which captures the excitement of the night before December the 25th. It beautifully depicts how the preparations for the visit by Santa can make a routine like bath time a long drawn out activity.
Links are made to the traditional Northern Hemisphere Christmas with making the soap bubbles into snow, reference to mistletoe, and reindeer pyjamas.
The challenge of dressing elusive, giggling little ones, hanging stockings, coaxing to bed,
“the sooner we’re asleep
Then the sooner he’ll be there”
watching the twinkling lights and thinking of stars, all combine to make this a pre-Christmas treat.
Rhyme, of course, makes the little story swing through the pages but it is the lively illustrations that make it an irresistible for a family which has a four-year-old and a two-year-old, or thereabouts.
The colours are gentle. The background is ‘baby blue’; the small bodies outlined in blunt pencil and filled with a soft flesh colour. Reds and greens of the festive season are dotted about, as streamers, pyjamas, a sprig of holly. Together, they create a delightful celebration of not just the children’s excitement but the thrills of anticipation.
Parents reading this to their children will be reassured to see that all the excitement portrayed, like running nude through the house, pulling just one cracker, hiding under the rug, and examining the parcels under the tree, culminates by two little bodies falling peacefully asleep.
Rudie Nudie Christmas is not an audiobook, but the sketches of the slippery little bodies having fun evading efforts to get them ready for bed, one imagines, would have constant laughter and giggling accompanying them.
Emma Quay is a gifted and well-known illustrator. Her work is in the collection of, amongst others, the Victoria and Albert Museum. Her work is much praised and has won awards. She cleverly combines text and illustrations in such a delightful way with this new book that it is a ‘must have’ for many.
Busy and probably exhausted parents might regard bath time on Christmas Eve frustrating and difficult in attempting to steer excited kids to bed, but Rudie Nudie throws an enjoyable, tolerant and happy light on bath then bed time. Its subtle message to ‘go with the flow’ mustn’t be forgotten.
To enhance Christmas joy, make sure you get a copy of this very special book.
Rudie Nudie Christmas
by Emma Quay
ISBN. 9 780733338342
20 pages; $24.99