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Santa’s Marvellous Mechanical Workshop by Vashti Hardy & Katie Cottle

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We were really intrigued by the title, Santa’s Marvellous Mechanical Workshop, and had to read more! Lonely Lily is magically pulled into a Christmas adventure at Santa’s workshop. But will helping Santa also lead to her Christmas wish coming true?


The Story: It’s Christmas Eve and Lily and her parents have just moved to a new town. Lily has nobody to play with so mum suggests she unpacks some of her boxes. As Lily gets to the last box she finds a mysterious parcel at the bottom. It’s a book and a strange creature is waving from one of its blank pages…

A magical adventure follows as the little creature, Widget the elfbot, takes Lily to Santa’s workshop where Santa needs Lily’s imagination to help him fix a roomful of broken toys. We love the emphasis on upcycling and rebuilding and Lily comes up with some amazing ideas to ensure that none of the toys need to be thrown away. As they load Santa’s sleigh Lily tells Widget her biggest wish which leads her to find a way to embrace Christmas celebrations in her new home.

We love Katie Cottle’s bold, vibrant illustrations and the predominantly red, green and white colour scheme adds to the story’s festive atmosphere. Santa’s workshop, with its red and white candy cane chimneys, is full of cute busy elfbots who join Lily as her imagination helps her create amazing toys out of all the broken ones.


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Santa’s Marvellous Mechanical Workshop is a fabulously festive celebration of the power of imagination and creativity. We love the way that the theme of recycling and reinventing is intertwined with Christmas and friendship. And we adore Lily’s red tartan pyjamas!

Age Range: 3+

Author: Vashti Hardy / Illustrator: Katie Cottle

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