Chris Gurney
A Christmas Carol

The Dickensian Christmas story is given a Kiwi twist.

"What a whole lot of hoo-ha, this 'let's all be merry',
the dinners, the pressies and fuss!
A load of old CODSWOLLOP!" hollered old Jerry,
"But leave early then - if you must!"

Miserly old Jerry from the Kai Corner Dairy is the New Zealand equivalent of Scrooge. Children will love spotting the odd kiwi icon in Philip Webb's humorous illustrations.

The Story Behind the Book


Philip Webb did the illustrations for this story. It is always exciting to see words take shape through the eyes and hands of the illustrators, and particularly so in this case. The old villas were typical of historic NZ suburbia, with the Kai Corner Dairy taken straight from my childhood memories, along with the old-fashioned cash register. There are plenty of kiwi icons throughout the book, most of which need no labelling to be recognised but we have our favourite TipTop icecream, pineapple lumps and minties displayed, along with buzzy bees and toy kiwis.

This is the magic that the illustrator weaves in his or her own way. This is one particular thing I’ve learned along the way, that, as a writer, I don’t need to write everything into the story. The illustrator can do that so much better.

A Kiwi Christmas Carol - Page 2-3
A Kiwi Christmas Carol - Page 4-5


The children (4.5 and 6 years old) both enjoyed the story and were pleased that Jerry decided to get into the Christmas spirit. The story is much shorter than the original book and this helps to maintain the children's attention. It is also in a modern context the they can relate to. I also really enjoyed this version of the book and will be lending it to my daughter's teacher to read to the class as there is a wonderful message about what Christmas is about... read more

This is an awesome Kiwi rendition of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. Kids of all ages just love the Kiwi Corkers books (I know this because my Mum is a Librarian at the local primary). They would make a great present for any young child, especially one who likes to read!... read more
Mighty Ape

The story is told in rhyming text and is excellently illustrated in characteristic style by Philip Webb. It’s fun to spot the New Zealand icons in the pictures. This would be a good addition to a library or personal collection of Christmas picture books – children of about six to eight will have fun with it... read more
Kids Books NZ

The classic Dickens story gets a local makeover, with miserly old Jerry from the Corner Dairy as the Kiwi equivalent of Scrooge... read more
NZ Herald


Kiwi Christmas Carol Word Search.

KCC Word Search.

Kiwi Christmas Carol Comprehension.

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A Christmas Carol
A Kiwi Christmas Carol
Illustrated by Philip Webb
Publisher Scholastic New Zealand
HB 2010 / PB 2014

Hardback ISBN – 9781869439422
Paperback ISBN - 9781775432555
Age 3-7
Year Level Pre-school, Foundation, Year 1, Year 2
RRP Hardback $19.99
RRP Paperback $14.00
Where to buy this book from The Nile

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