It’s the question every child, and one Norwich writer, is asking. Is it really nearly Chrismas?

Is It Really Nearly Christmas by Joyce Dunbar and Victoria Turnbull

Is It Really Nearly Christmas by Joyce Dunbar and Victoria Turnbull - Credit: Archant

A picture book by Joyce Dunbar captures the magic of one-sleep-before-Christmas

'Is it really nearly Christmas?' It's the question every child is asking, and many adults too. The children just can't wait, and the adults just can't work out how they're going to get all the presents bought and wrapped and the house trimmed, and guests welcomed and dinner cooked…

Yes, yet again Christmas will be falling on December 25 this year, and yet again, it is approaching faster than Santa will be whirling around the world on Christmas Eve.

Norfolk children's author Joyce Dunbar has written her new book Is It Really Nearly Christmas? for the people who are willing Christmas to come quicker. Dedicated to her grandchildren, Sonny and Cody, it is a story of waiting, wondering, winter – and waking with wonder.

Little Lucas and Willow are gazing out of the window on a snowy Christmas Eve. And as they try to make tomorrow come faster they remember all that is great about the preparations for Christmas. Victoria Turnbull's pictures show paper chains, Christmas trees, snowmen, and snugly starry sleep-suits and drowsy, dreaming children. And then Santa is silhouetted in the sky, new toys creep through the house, and with just one sleep to go, the magic is happening.

Joyce, who lives in Norwich, has published around 80 books for children, including her Mouse and Mole stories which were made into an animated television series voiced by Alan Bennett, Richard Briers and Imelda Staunton.

She has also created books with her artist and puppeteer daughter Polly, including Pat-a-Cake Baby and Shoe Baby, which were turned into puppet shows.

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Joyce, unlike the young characters in her book, loves the anticipation of Christmas most of all. 'I get quite swept away by excitement of lights and presents and magic and peace and goodwill and carols,' she said. I'm looking forward to Handel's Messiah at the cathedral. I also love all the old films on TV. It's a Wonderful Life is a favourite. And guilt free bucks fizz at 11am!

Is it Really Nearly Christmas, by Joyce Dunbar and Victoria Turnbull, is published by Hodder in hardback for £12.99.