Christmas sweater season is nearly upon us, so to celebrate the upcoming holidays, I have a lovely Irish children’s book to introduce to you.
The First Christmas Sweater is a delightful story of an Irish sheep with a multicolored fleece, which might just make the perfect yarn for knitting a Christmas sweater for the man himself, Santa Claus.
Written by Ryan Tubridy, an Irish television presenter and personality, this is a clever and often hilarious tale for the festive season, and it’s perfect for young readers who like a little giggle every now and then.
And so, if you love Christmas, colorful sweaters, woolly sheep and jellies then this little book might be right up your alley.
Today I’m delighted to host a new book giveaway for a copy of this children’s Christmas tale from Ireland.
But before I share details of how to enter our giveaway, let’s learn a little more about Hillary, the rainbow sheep from Ireland.
The First Christmas Sweater (and the Sheep Who Changed Everything) By Ryan Tubridy:
In a buoyant story, filled with ewe-morous puns, a multicolored sheep who loves Christmas inspires a seasonal ritual.
There are two things everyone knows about Hillary the sheep. One is that, unlike her typically hued friends, Hillary’s wool is all the colors of the rainbow. The other is that she adores everything about Christmas, especially Santa.
So when word gets out that Mr. Claus is traveling across Ireland seeking the perfect sheep’s wool for a sweater to keep his belly warm, Hillary’s head begins to spin.
Could her wool-dest dreams be about to come true?
Featuring a news-loving starling named Didya, a jellybean-obsessed farmer, and a choir of Elvish Presley–singing elves, this sweetly comical tribute to the season will find its place among kid-pleasing holiday traditions.
Already a bestseller in Ireland, it offers a welcome humorous spin on the holidays and a strong female protagonist.
This is a middle grade novel especially for the holidays. It’s an easy read with delightful illustrations. At 144 pages, it’s perfect for readers ages 7 to 10, and for grades 2 to 5.
However, I recommend reading this book together as a family. Or it would be perfect for a shared classroom tale during the holiday season.
There are many hilarious word plays and gleeful situations, told with an Irish flare for the unexpected and entertaining.
The Irish Times newspaper called this book “gloriously goofy.”
There are sheep characters galore in this little Christmas book and all are ever so funny and cute.
Now, as you read about these Gaelic sheep please do give them imaginary Irish accents.
If you like jokes and an entertaining plot about sheep, told in a playful Irish voice, then this is the Christmas book for you and your little ones.
There’s no shortage of sheep puns here, and at the very end of the book you’ll find a whole selection of sheep jokes – perfect for sharing at the Christmas dinner table.
The simple, black-and-white illustrations are lovely and add to this whimsical story.
My only wish was for the interior illustrations of Hillary to be in a majestic, multi-colored palate, and not simply in black in white. The only colorful image of Hillary is on the cover.
But this little oversight, does not spoil all the sheepish fun and yarns being spun throughout this tale.
Ewe will love it.
About The Creators:
Ryan Tubridy is the author of Patrick and the President, illustrated by P.J. Lynch.
One of Ireland’s leading and best-loved media personalities, he is most recognized as the current host of the long-running chat show The Late Late Show. Ryan Tubridy lives in Dublin.
He presents the annual Late Late Christmas Toy Show, which is watched by young and old, all over Ireland and the world. Each year Ryan wears a variety of Christmas sweaters during each show. Many of his sweaters are lovingly designed and hand knit by his many fans.
This year’s Late Late Toy Show is scheduled for Friday, November 29th, so we’ll soon be able to check out all of Ryan’s latest and greatest Christmas sweaters.
You can find Ryan on Instagram as @instatubridy.
Chris Judge is the author-illustrator of The Lonely Beast, The Brave Beast, and The Snow Beast and the illustrator of the Danger Is Everywhere series by David O’Doherty. Chris Judge lives in Dublin.
Where To Purchase The First Christmas Sweater:
In the USA, this book is published and distributed by Candlewick Press.
One lucky reader will win a copy of the book, The First Christmas Sweater by Ryan Tubridy and illustrated by Christ Judge.
To enter just leave a comment on this blog post by noon ET on Sunday, December 1st, 2019.
Any comment will do. What you write does not affect your chance of winning, but if you need inspiration why not tell us about your favorite Christmas story or a humorous yuletide yarn.
A winning comment will be chosen randomly. Remember to leave your e-mail so that I can contact you should you win. Your e-mail won’t be published, just used to contact our lucky contestant for mailing of the prize.
The winner will be announced on Sunday, December 1st, 2019, at the bottom of this blog post.
You may check out Irish American Mom’s complete terms and conditions for sweepstakes’ entries by clicking here.
Many thanks to everyone for stopping by to check out this book giveaway and for joining in the fun with your own Christmas tales, yarns and puns.
Feel free to share this little raffle with family and friends and help spread the word about Hillary, the multicolored Irish sheep who inspired the First Christmas Sweater.
And many, many thanks to Ryan Tubridy, Chris Judge, and Candlewick Press for sharing this charming Irish children’s book with us today.
Update – Winner Chosen On December 1st, 2019:
Our lucky winner has been randomly chosen using the Pick Giveaway Winner Plug-in for WordPress.
And the lucky reader is ….
I’ll send Sofiane an email to help coordinate mailing of her book.
A big thank you to everyone for supporting this giveaway by leaving comments. And many thanks to the good folks at Candlewick Press for sponsoring this prize.
If you’re interested in other books set in Ireland or featuring the Irish in America, here are a few more recommendations to check out…
Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
Disclosure: I received a free, advanced copy of this book for review purposes. This post reflects my honest and unbiased thoughts about this work, The First Christmas Sweater.
Text copyright 2018 by Ryan Tubridy.
Illustrations copyright 2018 by Chris Judge.
Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, Mass., on behalf of Walker Books, London.
Other posts you might enjoy:
- Everything You Need to Know About Irish Pub Culture
- Learning About the Irish Reel Dance
- Core Values In Irish Culture
- 5 Places You Can Learn Irish Dance Online
- The Religious Significance and History of Croagh Patrick
- The Life of St. Patrick
- History of Shrove Tuesday And Pancake Day Plus Old Irish Traditions
- The History and Origins of Traditional Irish Music
- The History and Origins of Irish Dance
- The Irish Wake – A Traditional Last Goodbye
- The Pilgrim Path or Tóchar Phádraig
- Explore The Origins Of The Celtic Festival Of Imbolc