Christmas Poems by Wendy Cope (Review)

Christmas Poems by Wendy Cope


For more than thirty years Wendy Cope has been one of the nation’s most popular and respected poets. Christmas Poems collects together her best festive poems, including anthology favourites such as ‘The Christmas Life’, together with new and previously unpublished work. Cope celebrates the joyful aspects of the season but doesn’t overlook the problems and sadness it can bring. With lively illustrations to accompany the words, it is a book to enjoy this Christmas and in years to come.


I bought this book in October when I was in Bath and I was really excited because I thought this little book would be a perfect festive read in December. At only 48 pages long this did not take me long to read and was a perfect diversion from the Christmas prep. 

As you probably know by now if you have been following me for any length of time I was never a huge poetry fan but since I have been blogging I have been making an effort to get into poetry. Since doing this I have found quite a few favourite poets that I enjoy to read and I am always looking for new poets to read. Wendy Cope is one of these new poets for me. 

Certain poems within this book I could really relate to. Cope was a primary school teacher for 15 years and a piano player and her reflections on playing for children’s services I can relate to as I teach piano and woodwind in a primary school and know all about the Christmas services and the many renditions of Little Donkey. 

I will be honest there were only a few poems that I really enjoyed in this book because I found quite a few of the poems rather depressing and not very helpful for getting into the festive spirit. However, I like Cope’s style as a poet and will definitely be checking out more of her poems. 

The illustrations in this book are by Michael Kirkham and were excellent and really added to the poems. Without the illustrations the book would have been a lot shorter. 

Overall, I found this little book of poems an accomplished read but not really my cup of tea. It sadly wasn’t the festive read I was looking for but I appreciate the skill of Wendy Cope. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons. 


Purchase Links

Book Depository | | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the poet

Wendy Cope was educated at Farringtons School, Chislehurst, London and then, after finishing university at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, she worked for 15 years as a primary school teacher in London.

In 1981, she became Arts and Reviews editor for the Inner London Education Authority magazine, ‘Contact’. Five years later she became a freelance writer and was a television critic for ‘The Spectator magazine’ until 1990.

Her first published work ‘Across the City’ was in a limited edition, published by the Priapus Press in 1980 and her first commercial book of poetry was ‘Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis’ in 1986. Since then she has published two further books of poetry and has edited various anthologies of comic verse.

In 1987 she received a Cholmondeley Award for poetry and in 1995 the American Academy of Arts and Letters Michael Braude Award for light verse. In 2007 she was one of the judges for the Man Booker Prize.

In 1998 she was the BBC Radio 4 listeners’ choice to succeed Ted Hughes as Poet Laureate and when Andrew Motion’s term of office ended in 2009 she was once again considered as a replacement.

She was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s 2010 Birthday Honours List.



Christmas Is Coming: Traditions from Around the World by Monika Utnik-Strugala (Review)

Christmas Is Coming: Traditions from Around the World by Monika Utnik-Strugala


The perfect book for long wintery evenings—not just under the Christmas tree!

Why do we decorate Christmas trees? Do all children receive gifts on the same day?

Come find out as Monika Utnik-Strugala captures the smells, tastes, and unforgettable traditions about the most popular, exciting, contemplative, and unqiue Christmas customs and legends from around the world. Find out why celebrate Christmas on December 25th, who invented the first glass ornament, why people build nativity scenes, and more!

A truly international collection of legends and traditions are included in the volume such as –  Glögg, Kutia, Lutefisk, Jansson’s Temptation, Julskinka, Bûche de Noël, Hallaca, Kourabiedes, Christmas Pudding, Panettone, Christmas carols, talking animals, and The Nutcracker!

With the atmospheric illustrations by Ewa Poklewska-Koziello, this is an ideal companion for the Christmas season.


I bought this book December 2021 but I didn’t manage to read it before the end of December so I decided to save it for this year instead. I usually start my Christmas books on the 1st December but today I couldn’t resist starting my Christmas reading list. Turns out I also couldn’t put this book down and read it in one day!

The thing that attracted me to this book was the gorgeous illustrations by Ewa Poklewska-Koziello. Every page contains beautiful illustrations which really help make the book come alive. 

The book starts at the start of Advent and ends with Epiphany on 6th January. The book explains the traditions that different countries follow on the run up to Christmas, during Christmas and after Christmas. 

I will be honest but I found that certain countries had a lot more attention than others. Considering the book is meant to be from around the world a lot of the traditions mentioned are from Poland and Russia which I suppose is because of the author’s background. 

I think this is a great book for children and adults but the occasional errors in the text did put me off and the repeated sentence was an error that really should have been picked up. In all honesty what made this book for me was the gorgeous illustrations and without the illustrations I would be giving this book a much lower rating. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons. 


Purchase Links

Book Depository | | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Monika Utnik-Strugala studied romance studies at the University of Warsaw in Poland and is a lifestyle and design journalist. She made her debut with a children’s book about Italian culture. In Italy she likes to spend her free time in her beloved country house. 


Christmas Reading List 2022


I have started compiling my Christmas reading list for this year. I always start reading my Christmas books on December 1st but I might start slightly earlier this year as I am struggling to resist. I love compiling and planning my Christmas reads. December is the only time I really ever plan my reading as I am a mood reader generally.

My list so far is mainly made up of books left over from my Christmas TBR 2021 but I will most likely add some more in December.

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling – I have been reading the illustrated Harry Potter books after Christmas Day but before New Year so this will be the next one.
  • Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin – This is a new author for me but the storyline looks really good.
  • One Family Christmas by Bella Osborn – Another new author for me.
  • One More for Christmas by Sarah Morgan – reading a Sarah Morgan Christmas book has become a bit of a Christmas tradition for me so I have to one one on my TBR.
  • A Surprise Christmas Wedding by Phillipa Ashley – Another Christmas tradition author for me.
  • Christmas Poems by Wendy Cope – Picked this up in Bath last month and really looking forward to reading it.
  • Christmas is Coming by Monika Utnik-Strugała – This is the book I might start before December as I would like to read about the traditions before they happen.
  • Murder on a Winter’s Night by Various authors – I love this series of books and always buy the latest ones to read over December. My dad also really enjoys them so he also borrows them as well.

So there is my Christmas reading list so far. If you would like to recommend any Christmas books to me then please do as I love finding new Christmas books.

Happy Reading