The Empty Stocking
Written by Richard Curtis
Illustrated by Rebecca Cobb
Published by Puffin Books
Publication date: 2012
Age range: 3+
Summary (from Goodreads):
It’s Christmas Eve. And there’s one very important question on everyone’s lips…have you been good this year?
For twins Sam and Charlie this is a big worry because Charlie is really quite bad. And sometimes, just sometimes, Santa has to get tough…
Charlie was quite bad.
Not really bad, but, you know, very naughty.
Not interested in being obedient. Quite often very grumpy.
Not very fond of telling the complete truth.
But very fond of eating sweets,
making a filthy racket
and having too much
So glad I found this story! Sam and Charlie are twin girls who are identical in looks but couldn’t be more different in personality. Sam is good but Charlie always seems to be in trouble…so much so that her family are beginning to worry if she will get any presents at all from Santa at Christmas. If he knows who has been good or bad, surely he can’t have missed everything naughty that Charlie has done?
This is a charming, heart-warming family Christmas story which I can see becoming a firm favourite. I loved the style of the illustrations and the strong bonds between the family members as well as the different perspective it gave the reader on exactly why Charlie is naughty.
I also enjoyed the family traditions mentioned, with the family talking about the books they like to read together on Christmas Eve. Children will appreciate the visual humour in the pictures e.g. animals sneaking through the snow when the narrator says ‘Nobody moved’ and Dad tripping over when getting undressed for bed.
This is about to become my go-to present for children at Christmas and I look forward to adding it to a book basket of festive tales to enjoy together!
Santa filled one stocking up to the very top…
and left the other one completely
What I liked: Beautiful illustrations, a realistic family full of love, heart-warming storyline.
Even better if: It’s perfect just as it is! I will be buying my own copy and it’s sure to become a favourite every Christmas!
How you could use it in your classroom: This would make a lovely read-aloud in the lead-up to Christmas. It might also be interesting to have a discussion looking at the motivation behind Charlie’s naughty behaviour .
(Thank you to my local library for ordering in a copy for me!)