Merry Christmas, Woozler
Written and illustrated by Rhonda Paglia
Published 2014 Dec by Rhonda Paglia
Author, Illustrator Rhonda Paglia pens a darling Christmas-themed picture book for early readers, Merry Christmas, Woozler.
Paglia’s tale follows the adventures of Sofie and her imaginary friend, Meeda, who mirrors Sofie’s in appearance and who lives, well, Meeda actually lives in a mirror.
Though the book is the third in the author’s Meeda and Me Series, I had no problem jumping into this quick read. It was fun to meet Sofie and her family, along with the Woozler, a Grinch-like character who resides in the hollow of an apple tree.
Sofie narrates in her first-person voice, so we see the world through her eyes. And what a lovely world it is. The Yuletide plot focuses on the usual family preparations for the holidays. However, the story goes farther by teaching a sweet lesson about gratitude and giving when Sofie and Meeda decide to help the grouchy Woozler celebrate the season.
Paglia’s charming drawings are colorful and simply crafted in a style that reminds me of a Grandma Moses painting. The author adds kid-pleasing details: girls have spots of rosy cheeks and dress in Christmas sweaters and funky reindeer slippers that keep me smiling.
A string of Christmas lights ringing many pages brings a pleasing, consistent look. I especially like renditions of the grumpy Woozler. Paglia paints him as just enough to be eccentric without being scary to young readers.
In addition to the gentle lesson of gratitude and friendship, the author includes activity pages at the end of the book to notch up young readers’ engagement and cement their reading experience.
I highly recommend this delightful tale for children who are beginning readers. While Merry Christmas, Woozler features two girls, the titular character’s monster-tough personality will attract boys, too.
Its illustrations and message of love and giving will appeal to everyone, especially during the holidays. However, you’ll enjoy the book any time of year and give it an extra read in December as you and your young readers celebrate the season with Sofie, Meeda and the Woozler.
I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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