The Christmas Carrolls by Mel Taylor-Bessent

Debut author Mel Taylor-Bessent is no stranger to the world of children’s books and publishing. In fact, she is an expert (in my opinion)! Having read her announcement of a debut middle grade full of festive fun, I had barely stopped begging for a proof when one arrived.

Some books are worth the wait and this certainly fits that category. Arriving in stores mid October, don’t wait until Christmas, get your copy early and enjoy every page! The illustrations are wonderfully festive and I have the proof copy so the finished book will be even more delightful!

Holly and her family are Christmas experts, celebrating daily with food, music and decorations! Their home is a shrine to Christmas and they aim to Spread Cheer All Year! Kindness, good will and love shine from their bright smiles every day.

When the family discover a house on Sleigh Ride Avenue is for sale, they drop everything and move in as quickly as possible. Their dreams of living on a Christmassy street are coming true and they are determined to create many more festive memories in this new home.

Holly and her family will face plenty of opposition to their Christmas cheer and over the top decorations, from new neighbours and new classmates. Heading into school for the first time ever, Holly wears her Santa backpack, tinsel and her biggest smile.

The other children find her strange and avoid her, sending her festive cheer on a downward spiral and she abandons Christmas for a more normal approach. This doesn’t feel right either for Holly but her desperation to fit in and make friends is causing havoc with her Christmas spirit. As with many middle grade books, there is always hope that things will work out just the right way and at just the right time.

I loved the story of the September soirée to raise money for a truly wonderful cause. I loved Archer, his shyness and quirkiness and then finally finding his voice and Holly for being true to herself, festive fiend that she is!

A cracking new book! Funny, full of fantastic characters and a “reindeer” named Reggie! Ssh, he is really a donkey but he would rather be recognised as a reindeer! He will certainly melt people’s hearts this festive season.

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