12 Days Of Xmas Book Reviews, Day 10: Little Robin Red Vest

By Emma Davis

22nd December 2018
Little Robin Red Vest

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Author & Illustrator: Jan Fearnley

Publisher: Nosy Crow

This year, Little Robin Red Vest celebrates it’s 20th anniversary and this special, hardback edition features stunning new artwork.

Little Robin Red Vest truly represents the magic associated with Christmas and the importance of giving.  It’s the week before Christmas and Robin washes and irons seven warm vests to see him through the chilly days to Christmas.  Robin shows friendship and kindness to the creatures he meets in the days leading up to Christmas.  The chilly weather and snow on the ground means that the animals are suffering in so Robin shares his vests, giving away one a day to keep his friends warm.  As the days to Christmas decrease, as does the number of his vests.

It’s Christmas Eve, the snow is falling and poor Robin has given away his last vest to mouse.  Robin huddles up on a roof, wrapping his wings around himself to try to keep himself warm.

‘There was nobody around to help him, and it was a long way home.  He fluffed up his feathers as best he could and huddled miserably on a snowy roof.’

Little Robin falls asleep in the snow and doesn’t even wake to the sound of sleigh bells, or the crunching snow under heavy boots.  He gets scooped up and snuggled in the soft white beard of…Father Christmas!

Father Christmas takes Robin all the way to the North Pole, telling Mrs Christmas about his kindness – “He must have a very special present then.” She decides.  Pulling a thread from the red coat of Father Christmas, she sets to work, knitting a red vest for Robin to keep him warm.  Father Christmas tells him:

“You are full of the spirit of Christmas.  Now it’s time for your present.  This vest is very, very specials.  It will keep you warm forever and when other people see you, it will make them feel warm too.”

Little Robin proudly wears his new red vest and sings out sweetly on Christmas morning to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Little Robin Red Vest is a magical tale of friendship, giving and putting others first and will strike a chord with children and adults alike.  It has fantastic learning potential, from naming and recognising colours to counting the vests and days in the run up to Christmas.  There are many discussion points to further develop the thoughts stemming from the book – why does Robin give his vests away?  How does he feel on Christmas Eve?  I wonder how Father Christmas knew that Robin had been kind…

This is the most perfect book for sharing with children in the run up to Christmas.  It is calming, gentle and leaves a feeling of warmth after reading.  Definitely one of my favourites.

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