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REVIEW: Tinsel – The Girls Who Invented Christmas

If you are looking to treat the kids to a New Christmas book this year and looking for a bit of inspiration then keep reading as we review the New Children’s Reading Book Tinsel from Author of the much-loved Witch Wars and Bad Mermaids kids’ fiction series.

Something that has definitely helped us get into the festive mood this week is being lucky enough to have been sent a copy of the children’s reading book Tinsel – The Girls Who Invented Christmas, to review in exchange for us sharing with all our readers our honest thoughts about the Festive Fiction Novel.

Tinsel is author Sibeal Pounder’s first ever standalone children’s book which she has written with a reader audience of 9 to 11 year olds in mind.

Set to be published on 29th October 2020 we checked out if it is a Christmas page turner worth adding to your Childs Christmas Gift List or if it’s one only fit for a shelf space next to the no longer loved Elf!


The Storyline

Tinsel tells the story of two friends Blanche Claus and Rinki as they embark on an unexpected adventure and inadvertently invent Christmas.

Tinsel explores the possibility that for all these years we have actually got the whole Santa story wrong and it even explains how the naughty and nice list really started being talked about.

Blanche is gifted a beautiful red Christmas bauble from a strange woman one year and this is the start of her exciting destiny.

Blanche and Rinki are both orphans living on the street of old London when we learn about their first meeting. The story skims through their struggles, focuses mainly on the wonders, wishfulness and hope that Christmas brings every year.

From a chance meeting and a mince pie picnic a special friendship develops between Blanche and Rinki which takes them on a magical adventure overseas and to the snowy north pole, where a village of Carols and a hilarious talking Christmas tree called Eggnog live.

Its from here that a dream of making Christmas special for every child in the world by gifting them a present every Christmas Day comes into fruition.

Using a horse to lead a hand-crafted sleigh and overcoming the technicalities of magically entering homes, this story cleverly touches on many Christmas traditions making you rethink its plausibility. We even get an understanding of how tinsel had to be invented, as a way to keep a secret.

Sibeal Pounder’s Tinsel novel gives a wonderous and funny insight into how a simple misunderstanding could mean that the Traditional Christmas Story that we all know and love may not be true and that Santa is not who we think he is!


The Illustrations

LATEST NEWS Tinsel The Girls Who Invented Christmas Front and Back Cover 2

The book cover has been illustrated by Sarah Warburton and it is very pretty and so relevant once you start getting into the story.

Have to say the kids would very much have loved to have seen more imagery within the book, although this is probably just something, they are used to from some of their other favourite authors.

Though we really can’t take away from the fact that the artwork on the book cover is bright and very Christmassy and definitely would make the kids pick it up from the bookshelf so that’s a plus.


About the Author

Author Sibeal Pounder used to write for the Financial Times before becoming a full time writer and is now better well known for writing two well loved children’s fiction series. Sibeal’s first series is called Witch Wars and second series is called the Bad Mermaids.

Her very first book was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2016 and the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Award.

Sibeal was also a World Book Day author for 2019 and to date has had her books published in 13 different languages.


Would we Recommend this Book for Your Child?

We thought Tinsel was a very well thought out story, as it very cleverly touches on many Christmas traditions as we know them and then plausibly explains away how we may have got them wrong by throwing us a reason to what it should be instead.

Dropping teasers early on in the book such as Blanche having to escape up a chimney after being locked in by the boys or speeding around the streets on her trusted horse Rudy, it sets up seamlessly into the next stage of the adventure, so very easy for the kids to follow.

There are many funny one liners throughout and a few that our kids specifically loved including the one when one of the Carols refused to say Yes and instead kept saying “Mmess” because if she didn’t yes then she wasn’t saying a lie. This really made then giggle and I think they may even use this concept in some circumstances now lol!

Our kids did pass comment that they would have liked to see a few pictures throughout the novel, but as we mentioned before this could very well just be a personal preference as its something they are used to from other books they have enjoyed reading.

Another little thing that they struggle with a little when reading Tinsel was a few times throughout the book words were divided over two lines using a hyphen, again this is something personal to them as they are not fully used to this reading habit as yet, so whilst it was something we had to help them with as they are not used to it, it’s been a good little learner for them.

Our overall thoughts were that Tinsel is a Funny, Inspiring, Emotional (with a wee sad twist near the end) and Fab read for middle grade kids. As a family we love Christmas and all the kids are well versed in Santa Stories, so we love how Tinsel made them generally re-think if what they knew was true.

It also has a strong female empowering vibe throughout, showing girls that they can do anything they can dream of, regardless of what others think and say to the contrary. However, it is not an overpowering aspect of the story which allowed for the boys to still enjoy the novel.

We all thoroughly enjoyed reading Tinsel, it was indeed a real page turner and left the kids now on the hunt for their very own red Christmas Bauble. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to all families as an awesome addition to your child’s Santa Sack this Christmas.

Tinsel – The Girls Who Invented Christmas is brand new out released on 29th October 2020 and you can order your own hardcover copy at Waterstones as well as Amazon 


Book Giveaway

As an extra little treat, we would love to offer the chance for one of our readers to Win their very own copy of Sibeal Pounder’s New Tinsel Children reading book. If you are interested, then simply Click Here to Visit our Competition Section and Enter this Book Giveaway for Free – Good Luck!




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