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.
You can explore his beautiful illustration on his website, or you can follow him on Instagram as @chrisjudge.
Where To Purchase The First Christmas Sweater:
In the USA, this book is published and distributed by Candlewick Press.
You can also find this book on Amazon and on Barnes and Noble.
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.
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We love to read in our home. Would be a wonderful addition to the Holiday collection!
I would love to read this with my grand daughters. They love hearing about Ireland
Thank you and Merry Christmas
My daughter Olivia just had an #amazing #Irish holiday ☘️She had a 10 day tour of the whole island & absolutely loved it 💚She even got engaged in #Dublin This would be perfect for the grandkids & me to read to them Please 🙏🏼🇨🇦 Ireland 🇮🇪 is our #ancestry ❤️
Merryellen Towey Schulz
This story would be wonderful to read with my grandsons who spend Saturday nights with me. On top of that, I SO love Irish stories.
Sounds like a delightful story! Thanks for letting us know about it.
We usually read The Irish Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve to the kids. This sounds like a cute book to add to our evening.
Would love to give it to my daughter she is 9 and becoming a little book worm
We saved, and saved, for our trip to Ireland in September 2018. We had the pleasure of seeing brightly daubed sheep in fields wherever we went. Alas, we never saw Hilary with her rainbow hued wool. Nor did we see Santa! I guess we will have to go back (one day)!
I think that the first sheep that I saw that was multi-colored was an Irish sheep except that they were totally multi-colored like the Irish sheep in our story. It must be a very funny story!
Mary Sweeney Chancellor
I am applying for my Irish Citizenship and would love to have this book!
We always read Christmas stories during December and actually all year. This sounds like a lovely story that I can't wait to read. Merry Christmas to all.
We would love to read this to our grandson. Thanks for the offer.
Terry Mc Donough
Ba maith liom a leabh an leabhar seo
My good friend is a kindergarten teacher and I would love to give this book to her to read to her 5 year-old children.
This looks like a delightful book! I loved your recipe for mashed rutabagas! I grew up with this delicious root vegetable. Gram and Mom would add a bit if sugar along with the salt and a bit of chopped white onion. Ah, delicious!
I will have to pick up a few rutabagas soon. Thanks for the memories!
Just today our family discussed making a trip to Ireland. With Christmas fast approaching, this tale of Hilary would be a delightful addition to our celebrations.
I love your recipes! I’d love to have this book for my grandson Liam and future grandchildren.
I would love to win this for my great granddaughter!
My grandchildren are getting older now and would appreciate this story. Would love to read this to them.
Would be an honor to have this book. My daughter would love it!
I wear my Irish sweater throughout the holiday season even when others say, It's too cold for that!
How can anybody resist an Irish holiday tale packed with sheep puns?
Thanks for sharing.
Día Dhuit! This is ewefully adorable. I’ve been trying to give my children a little taste of the places where we are descended from and this would be delightful as my younger daughter goes and teaches all her little kindergarten friends Irish as we all are learning as a family and her class loves a good giggle. I’d definitely bring it in to share for secret parent reader time.
Thanks for sharing, if I don’t win, we’ll pick up a copy anyway!
Slán go fóill,
Would be a grande book to read to the grandchildren.
Would love to win for my daughter
This would be a wonderful book to add to our Christmas book box
We read holiday books during each season. This would be a different and exciting book to add.
This book looks like a great fun read for the children.
Would love to read this to my grandchildren. I make mashed rutabagas and carrots and parsnips, not just at Thanksgiving, but throughout the year! I thought I was making my own unique recipes, but they're exactly like yours. Must be an Irish thing!
I would love to be able to read this to my 3 granddaughters! They would enjoy it so much! As for Thanksgiving traditions, I always roast my parsnips, rutabagas and carrots together, my south Mississippi family loves it! Not something they are use to eating!! Happy Thanksgiving all.
I just know my two grandsons would love this. They love when I read and add accents to the characters, and what better than my own irish one. I'm also a great knitter, so they have learned a bit too. Here's hoping, in Canada