My Mother is a Christmas Elf by Chantelle Joy Otto ~ Book Review

Star rating: *****

I’m a self-confessed Christmas-holic! I start my Christmas shopping as early as I feel I can get away with and try my best to take as much time off from my day job over the holiday season. The opportunity to review a book written by a fellow Christmas nut was too good to pass up and I’m delighted to have shared a piece of author, Chantelle Joy Otto’s childhood and festive memories through this endearing story.

With an over-excited four year old son who dreams of nothing but Santa at the moment, it’s a great fit for his age group and also for early readers. The pictures are simple, full of life and of course – Christmassy! The story is simple, beautifully effective and tells the tale of the author’s childhood festivities which were humble yet always magical with thanks to her special mother whom the book is written about.

The story works on many levels as it’s a wonderful Christmas story for youngsters and teaches the more savvy children the lesson of less being more. It also doesn’t hurt for us adults to be reminded that not everybody’s Christmas might be as privileged as our childhood Christmases were. However, although it becomes clear that the family rely upon donations in order for Santa to do his job, it’s not a subject that’s dwelt upon with melancholy undertones. It’s simply a stitch in the tapestry of the author’s memories.

I think the idea of mum being a Christmas Elf is a fantastic idea and the book helps us readers remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Read it, enjoy it and share it with your children and their friends, it’ll warm the heart of even the less festive of you! It might also put you in a Christmassy mood!

Do you want to get hold of a copy? Here’s your chance to buy or download the book and kick-start the festivities!


Santa’s Rusty Robot ~ Belgrade Theatre, Coventry


If you’re looking for a short, sharp and interactive children’s show to get the whole family in the festive spirit, this is a sure-fire hit with youngsters and big kids alike.

With Ellie the Elf, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, the man in the big red suit with the white beard, also known as Santa, and the star of the show, the robot! The story is a heart-warming tale of a robot who has been lovingly crafted by Santa for a little boy and who has inadvertently rusted, therefore rendered unable to move and to process information. The latter of the robot’s unfortunate traits was found most hilarious by many sniggering children in the audience!

Rudolph is played by a puppet who is incredibly engaging and delighted my toddler, Santa was jolly and looked like the man himself – maybe he was? Then there was Ellie the Elf who was vibrant, energetic and kept the flow and pace of the show going, throughout.

Popular songs were included for the audience to sing, dance and clap along with and the opportunity to meet the cast and take home a special gift from Santa was an added and unexpected bonus. Congratulations to the cast who were all superb and made my little boy very happy. It’s aimed at ages 2-6 years and a great way to kick off the festivities.

The show stays at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry until Christmas Eve, after which Santa and his team will be busy elsewhere! The link for more information or to book tickets is here:


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