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The Three Wishes

Written by Alan Snow

Illustrated by Alan Snow

Books of the Month Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 7+ readers Traditional Tales

LoveReading View on The Three Wishes

A beautifully-told and stunningly-illustrated Father Christmas origin story

December 2020 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2020

In the best traditions of mythology, The Three Wishes is a tough but ultimately lyrical version of the story that explains how Father Christmas can visit so many children in one night and why he has a red coat. Set long ago in a country that is far off in the frozen north where there is a strong community of families who live by hunting and foraging while their children look after the reindeer, it tells how a young boy, lost in deep snow in the forest, is saved from death by finding a mysterious cave full of magic and wonder from another world. Once a year the boy returns to his own world, checking on his family and taking them presents. One year, he arrives on a magical flying sleigh and his family give him a beautiful red outfit all lined with fun. From that day on, on one night of the year he rides around the world taking gifts to children everywhere. Evocative, timeless illustrations bring this imaginative story vividly to life.

You can find more wintry & festive stories in our Best Books for Kids this Christmas collection!


Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

Other Info

Julia Eccleshare's Picks for November 2020

A Dancer's Dream by Katherine Woodfine

Tinsel - The Girls Who Invented Christmas by Sibéal Pounder 

The Three Wishes by Alan Snow

A Christmas in Time by Sally Nicholls

The Snow Woman by David McKee

Atlas of Record-Breaking Adventures by Emily Hawkins


The Three Wishes Synopsis

Coming together like a perfect festive jigsaw, this story explains all of the traditions and myths around Santa Claus, from how he travels around the world in one night, how his sleigh and reindeer can fly, and why he leaves presents, to the origins of his red coat.

A young boy is herding his family's reindeer when they are drawn into a mysterious cave. The cave is the holder of eternal summer, looked after by three strange characters - a wooden creature, a bird and a fish. Once entered, the cave cannot be left without time in the outside world standing still. In his sadness at not being able to leave, the boy is granted three wishes and chooses freedom, happiness and time. He is told that they will all be granted - eventually.

After the first year of working hard in the summer cave, the boy is allowed to see his family in the outside world. Time stands still as he visits his parents, and he leaves gifts behind to show that he has visited. As the years go by, this annual visit continues and he begins to call on not only his parents, but more and more other families... and Christmas traditions as we know them, start to be created.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781843653868
Publication date: 12/11/2020
Publisher: Pavilion Children's Books an imprint of Pavilion Books
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781843653868
Publication date: 12th November 2020
Author: Alan Snow
Illustrator: Alan Snow
Publisher: Pavilion Children's Books an imprint of Pavilion Books
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 48 pages
Suitable for: 7+ readers
Genres: Fantasy / Magical, Traditional Tales
Recommendations: Books of the Month, Julia Eccleshare's Picks

About Alan Snow

Alan Snow is an award-winning children’s book illustrator and designer who has worked on more than 160 books. His novel, Here Be Monsters (OUP, 2005), was made into an animated film, The Boxtrolls, which spent several weeks at the top of the UK box office in 2015. Fascinated with ‘how things work’, Alan turned his attentions towards the kitchen, acquiring sophisticated equipment such as vacuum machine, centrifuge, freeze dryer and shock chiller, and has developed his own culinary ‘lab’. He has since consulted for The Ethicurian restaurant. Alan now runs workshops and courses for professional chefs and ...

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