‘Winter is a season that sparkles with magic and transforms our ordinary world into a glittering kingdom: rooftops covered in snow, lakes glazed with ice and windows frosted white. It is a time of year that invites exploration and whispers of adventure. And at the heart of it all there is a sense of longing – for snowflakes, stockings and sledging, of course – but also, for stories.’ – Abi Elphinstone

Winter Magic is a wonderfully festive collection of short stories, and one poem, curated by Abi Elphinstone and featuring ten other excellent writers. Adventures in the snow, glittering trees, frost-covered villages, dark nights, hot chocolate and gingerbread, magic, friendship – all these things come together in this collection of stories to create a true delight that isn’t just for Christmas.

A Night at the Frost Fair by Emma Carroll – 4/5 stars. Such a lovely little story. I adore Emma Carroll’s novels and this short story did not disappoint either.

The Magic of Midwinter by Amy Alward – 3.5/5 stars

The Voice in the Snow by Michelle Harrison – 5/5 stars. LOVED IT. How Michelle Harrison created such a complex and emotive story in forty pages is beyond me; the magic, the atmosphere, and the lyrical writing were superb.

The Cold-Hearted by Geraldine McCaughrean – 4/5 stars. Unexpectedly good.

Casse-Noisette by Katherine Woodfine – 5/5 stars. Ballet, imperial Russia, winter, Christmas, magic of all kinds, warmth. I adored this story; there’s something about Russia, winter, and ballet that evokes a powerful feeling of excitement and nostalgia within me, and this tale was no different. It is a perfect Christmas story that completely transports you to the rehearsals and opening night of The Nutcracker, so many Christmases ago.

Someone Like the Snow Queen by Berlie Doherty – 4/5 stars. A story with a very important and heart-warming message.

The Room with the Mountain View by Lauren St John – 3/5 stars

Snow by Michelle Magorian – 4/5 stars. Snow is the only poem in the collection and it is pure childhood nostalgia.

Into the Mountain by Jamila Gavin – 4/5 stars

The Wishing Book by Piers Torday – 3.5/5 stars

The Snow Dragon by Abi Elphinstone – 4/5 stars. A dragon made of snow, a sausage dog called Herbert, and a girl with hair as white as snowdrops. Abi Elphinstone’s The Snow Dragon finishes this delightful collection with as much magic as she introduced it with.

‘Be content. Be watchful. Be brave.’ He glanced towards the kennel and the snow around his big, dark eyes gathered into wrinkles. ‘And never stop believing in miracles.’

Read: November 16th-19th 2016

4/5 stars


Published by Sigourney Hatfield