TINSELThe Girls Who Invented Christmas

What if somewhere along the way we’ve all got the Santa story a bit wrong…?

Join Blanche Claus and her best friend Rinki for a funny festive sleigh ride you’ll never forget!

Genre: Children books / Middle Grade 

Age appropriate: 9+

Number of Pages: 320 pages

Date of Publication: 29/10/2020


Sibeal Pounder is a bestselling author of the ‘Witch Wars’ and ‘Bad Mermaids’ series. Previously she worked as a journalist, writing for publications including The Guardian and Vogue online and was a philanthropy columnist for the Financial Times.

The illustrations and the lovely book cover were created by Sarah Warburton. The book was published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books.

Rating: 4.5/5


A really well written book for children and young adults where the typical Christmas story has a refreshing twist where the main character is a young girl creating the myths and traditions that will come to be associated with the Festive season. The story is full of adventure, friendship and Christmas.

This is the story of Blanche Claus, a young orphan girl who lives under a bridge. One day she meets and old lady who gives her a magical bauble and in that moment her life changes forever. She meets Rudy, her horse, and later she meets Rinki who soon becomes her best friend. Blanche has a hard time fitting in the city, she becomes a carter but she has to keep her identity a secret because girls are not allowed to be carters but soon enough she finds the place where she belongs and finds the people she belongs with.

The characters in this story are very well balanced. We have as the main character Blanche Claus who is a strong, intelligent and determined girl and her best friend Rinki who also has a strong personality while still being a unique character.  Their relationship is very believable and together they are able to make their dream come true. The story also gives us Mr Krampus, a villain who is just as mean and vengeful as anyone can be. The secondary characters all have great personalities and play important parts in the story which is often not true in children’s literature. The lines of dialogue are well written and delivered and full of emotion where the writer had the opportunity to express herself.

It is easy to imagine everything that it is described in the book as every element of the story is beautifully described as are the Christmas traditions. Children will be able to imagine a world full of magic where everything is possible, where everyone eats mince-pies and drink hot chocolate, where there is a magic Christmas tree dancing and where friends will help each other no matter what.

I feel like the end of the book could have given a bit more explanation, but I guess I always want to know more about a good story.

Another nice little touch to this book is an epilogue in the form of a letter from one of the Christmas helpers from the story to the reader. They ask the reader to try to invent a biodegradable alternative to tinsel due the the environmental impact of so much non biodegradable plastic being produced and thrown away every year.

A funny, heart-warming festive story which children will love. The message of friendship is really strong and how a dreams can become true if we work hard for them.

Availability: The book is available in all good bookshops

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