Operation Nativity by Jenny Pearson

Trying to write a review while crying is proving difficult but at the same time, I think to the funny moments and distinct one liners dotted throughout the story, and I cry with laughter.

Oscar writes about this incredible tale and asks the reader to listen, whether they choose to believe it or not. What happens to him and little sister Molly is an extraordinary adventure featuring the well known biblical characters of Mary, Joseph, Balthazar, Donald and Steve. They, at the behest of Gabriel, have somehow managed to be transported to the 21st century. Oscar and Molly have been “chosen” to put the nativity back together again. All while practising for their own family nativity play, worrying about their ill grandfather and caring for a turkey aptly named Grandma for their similarity in wobbly necks.

Over the course of 4 days, the pair traverse the wilds of Hampshire looking for the wise man, the shepherd and then Mary and Joseph. They discover a donkey and a turkey and figure out how to drive a lawn mower as well.

This heartening story is wonderfully fitting for the festive season soon coming. It reminds us, not only of the “Reason for the Season” but of the importance of family, togetherness and love. The entire family gathering together has truly awakened the Christmas spirit in the children and the grownups soon follow.

Jenny is an expert in writing characters who are absolutely brilliant, particularly Molly in this book as she dresses up constantly, lets her imagination and mouth fly free and has the best attitude towards life. Oscar is a bit more reserved but a boy filled with love and loyalty for his family. Grandmother, compared to a Roman dictator, is one who you soon find filled with love and humility, as well as a good dose of humour. Grandfather, is charming, exuberant and full of joie de vive.

Jenny’s books present situations that are serious but in such a way that you find the joy, love and laughter mixed in so wonderfully. You may be crying but it is with a dose of sadness and happiness mixed together.

“Sadness and joy sit very close together, Oscar. One cannot exist without the other.” Wise words from a wise Angel Gabriel delivering sad news to Oscar.

Jenny’s quick wit and humour are found throughout the entire story but my favourites are the well timed and well delivered one liners from the different cast of characters in the story! From Molly’s hilarious, “And no one’s going to stick a lemon up your bum and eat you for their Christmas din-dins, are they, so pipe down!” And Oscar asking Angel Gabriel, “Are you a teapot?”! I couldn’t help but laugh out loud and it was just the tonic needed!

As you reach each new chapter, there is a chapter heading that allows you to hum a new tune, all the while changing some of the lyrics as suggested by Jenny Pearson. These ensure you jolly well sing along with revamped lyrics and completely forget the true ones! My particular favourite being, “Little Donkey, Little Donkey, Peeing in the Pond”!

Destined to become a Christmas Classic, add this to your wish lists! Coming in just 8 days!

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