Three delightful Christmas tales from the Penguin Young Readers Bookshelf.
It's Christmas, and that means Mrs.Wishy-Washy wants her animals as clean as shiny new tacks. In fact, if they don't scrub themselves from foot to head before she returns from shopping, they won't get their presents! But it's sooo cold in the big red barn. Duck knows a better bath - one with warm water and pink bubbles. But if Mrs.Wishy-Washy finds out, they can kiss their Christmas presents good-bye!
A talking chicken! Josh knows it sounds ridiculous, but that's just what Semolina is. And she's not just a talking chicken...she's a spirited, sarcastic, sassytalking chicken. And with Josh's mom in the hospital about to give birth to his sister, Josh needs Semolina more than ever, even if she will only talk in front of him. But when Semolina tells him that a fox is sneaking into the hen house at night, can Josh get his dad to believe in Semolina before it's too late?
Brian Collins is remembering a time in his life when he prayed for a miracle and it happened - almost. Memories of a special holiday with three surrogate grandmothers, financed in a highly unorthodox manner, are still very strong. Even stronger are memories of an unlikely but nurturing friendship that has shaped his life.
Delia and Bea: sisters, but never close. Delia lives a glamorous life in New York and Bea lives thousands of miles away in New Zealand, looking after elderly parents and playing the role of dutiful daughter. Delia and Bea both long for the warmth and intimacy of sisterhood, but it always eludes them. When Delia rushes home for their father's funeral there is an opportunity to spend some time together, but Delia and Bea move in orbit around each other, both recalling grievances and hurts, neither prepared to admit their need for each other. But as the day of the funeral passes, memories are unlocked: memories of their mother and her passion for music, memories of their father and memories of a magical summer and a man they had all loved.
Navigation is a relaxed, beautifully written memoir, not in any sense a formal autobiography. It contains wonderful sections on Joy's life growing up in a small Manawatu town (her first job on leaving school was as a pharmacy assistant in Foxton), her family life and her exploration of the joys of writing. It touches down constantly at Fish Bay in the Sounds, where Joy writes passionately about the landscape, the seasons and the natural world around her.