Book Advent – 7th December Lily, the Pug and the Christmas Wish by Keris Stainton

Lily, the Pug and the Christmas Wish is a funny, warm and up-lifting story about families and magic, lovely for any time of the year but just right for Christmas. It is short enough for emerging readers but with sufficient depth to engage the more confident reader too.


In the small town of Pinewood the people are busy preparing for Christmas. This year they are doing something special to celebrate. Each person will write down a secret wish and tie it to the Christmas tree in the town square. Although nine year old Lily likes this idea she is more than a little sceptical that wishes can come true, no matter how much you may want them to. Then a strange storm blows in and scatters all the wishes across the town. Lily wakes up the following morning to discover that Bug, her pug puppy, can talk! That was not what Lily had wished for but maybe it was someone else’s wish? The Christmas magic has definitely gone wrong. Can Lily, her younger brother Jimmy and, of course, Bug put things right before Christmas Day?

This is a delightful story and most definitely a mood lifter. I sat down to read it on a gloomy, damp morning to see what the opening pages were like and became engrossed, finishing it in one sitting. I particularly enjoyed the way in which Keris Stainton managed to convey the reality of family relationships. Although Lily’s parents have separated and grandad has remained housebound following the death of his wife the everyday niggles of life are portrayed with humour, love and understanding. The story itself takes centre stage and this ensures that the book does not become one dealing with social issues and is instead an enjoyable read with a touch of magic thrown in.

Lily is an engaging character and her relationship with Jimmy, her younger brother, is a protective and kindly one. However, Bug, the sarcastic talking pug, is in danger of totally stealing the show. He really made me chuckle and added to the enjoyment of the story. This is a clever mix of the traditional and the modern with the joy of an old fashioned community Christmas mixed with today’s more inclusive and diverse families and friendships.

This is a funny, warm and charming book for many ages. By the end I really wanted all the wishes to come true for the right people! This is a lovely story for any time of the year but absolutely perfect for the Christmas stocking.

When the book was originally published in 2015  Piccadilly Press produced this interview with Keris Stainton

In order to avoid any possible confusion it’s probably worth mentioning that the book was originally published with the title Lily and the Christmas Wish.


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