Good books for the festive season – as necessary as plum pudding, silver bells and Christmas cheer
'Nothing ever happens in the winter holidays'
Or so Nancy thinks. Then the lake ices over completely and the Swallows and Amazons, along with Dick and Dorothea - ‘the D’s’ - plan a race to find the North Pole. How will they reach it if they can’t sail? By sledges of course! But when a blizzard blows up and there is a mix up about signals, the D’s disappear into the Arctic night. Disaster looms. Can the Swallows and Amazons save their friends?
“Winter Holiday is my favourite Arthur Ransome, the one into which I want to walk even now - if only it would just snow. Its depiction of the Lake District in winter is totally compelling. You can teach yourself to skate from Ransome's descriptions of the first tentative pushes across the ice-bound tarn”
“The children are kind to each other, the parents are loving, and there's no violence - it's hard to imagine nowadays, and it's all the more charming for that”
“Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome is 80 years old but it remains a delightfully fresh read”
“Full of nostalgia for a time when summer holidays seemed to go on forever, unaccompanied children could sail off on adventures together, and ginger beer was ever-present. And the appeal of such things still remains”
“'Nothing ever happens in the winter holidays’, says Nancy Blackett. But how wrong can she be? When the lake freezes over, the Swallows and Amazons decide the time is right to race to the North Pole. Clearly this is no weather for boats so they set out on sledges. The children discover that lakes without boats can be exciting after all. But a sudden blizzard turns excitement to danger as two new friends go missing. Winter Holiday (Vintage Classics, £6.99) by Arthur Ransome is 80 years old but it remains a delightfully fresh read”