“The Christmas Eve Ghost”: one family’s hardships in 1930’s Liverpool

This book is by the acclaimed British author and illustrator Shirley Hughes. The story tells of a single Mum with two toddlers Bronwen and Dylan. She is making a living by washing linen for those living in the rich quarters of the city. On Christmas Eve she has to leave the children home alone briefly and while she is gone Bronwen and Dylan hear strange noises from their wash room and are certain that a ghost is stalking it. The children rush out to the street terrified… Learn how their kind neighbour Mrs. O’Riley takes the kids back to safety and dispels the haunting ghost mystery. That Christmas Eve brings  Bronwen and Dylan’s Mum and the O’Riley family together and helps reconcile the differences that Mum thought existed between them.

Shirley Hughes recalls about writing “The Christmas Eve Ghost”: “I always knew that one day I would make a picture book that drew on my vivid childhood memories of Liverpool in the 1930’s. The bustling shops, tramcars and thrilling monumental  buildings stood in stark contrast with the cramped squalor of back streets where the struggle to keep clean and make a decent life for a family was very hard…The huge challenge of Monday-morning washday with the washing all done by hand, the wash tubs, scrubbing boards, mangles and clothes lines which I well remember, are now for most people mercifully a thing of the past. But the kindness of neighbours, like Mrs. O’Riley is something we all need and depend upon today as much as ever”.  [1]

Shirley Hughes was born in 1927 in Liverpool. She is over 90 today and had a prolific career in children’s literature. She illustrated more than two hundred books and has written and illustrated about fifty of her own. Her books sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. Twice she was the recipient of Kate Greenaway Medal for British children’s book illustration and in 2017 has been appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to children’s literature.

This book would be of interest to diverse range of audience not only children.

For reviews of other fabulous Christmas books click here.

Check out our this earlier post for more about the wonderful world of Shirley Hughes children’s books.

"The Christmas Eve Ghost": one family's hardships in 1930's Liverpool Christmas Kids Book Reviews
"The Christmas Eve Ghost": one family's hardships in 1930's Liverpool Christmas Kids Book Reviews
"The Christmas Eve Ghost": one family's hardships in 1930's Liverpool Christmas Kids Book Reviews
"The Christmas Eve Ghost": one family's hardships in 1930's Liverpool Christmas Kids Book Reviews
"The Christmas Eve Ghost": one family's hardships in 1930's Liverpool Christmas Kids Book Reviews
"The Christmas Eve Ghost": one family's hardships in 1930's Liverpool Christmas Kids Book Reviews
"The Christmas Eve Ghost": one family's hardships in 1930's Liverpool Christmas Kids Book Reviews
"The Christmas Eve Ghost": one family's hardships in 1930's Liverpool Christmas Kids Book Reviews
"The Christmas Eve Ghost": one family's hardships in 1930's Liverpool Christmas Kids Book Reviews
"The Christmas Eve Ghost": one family's hardships in 1930's Liverpool Christmas Kids Book Reviews

[1] Author’s Note published at the back of the reviewed edition of the book.

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