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Tinsel: The Girls Who Invented Christmas

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  592 ratings  ·  138 reviews
How did the world come to believe Santa Claus is a man? It’s all just a big misunderstanding! This tale of friendship, sleigh rides and two formidable girls is THE Christmas book of the year - a gloriously funny, festive adventure that will delight even the biggest Grinch.

Join Blanche Claus and her best friend Rinki for a funny festive sleigh ride you'll never forget!

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 29th 2020 by Bloomsbury Children's Books
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  592 ratings  ·  138 reviews

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Jade Ratley
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you so much to Bloomsbury for providing me a proof copy of Tinsel!

This was such a beautiful, heartwarming story of the magic of Christmas, and of course a perfect festive read, even if I did read it on Halloween instead!

In this story, we follow a young girl on her journey to learning the true love and magic of Christmas and discovering who her people are and where she belongs. Blanche makes some incredible friends along her way to fulfilling her wildest dreams and has a crazy adventure i
Gavin Hetherington
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
The best kind of escapist and magical middle grade novel you need to read this Christmas!

Blanche Claus has big ideas for what she wants Christmas to be, and along with Rinki, Santa and a whole slew of elves named Carol, she might be able to make Christmas magical for every child in the world.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this (even if it was during October and I should have been focusing on the spooky reads). The character of Blanche and her friendship with Rinki is so heartfelt and empowering, s
Dash fan
4☆ Enchanting, Magical, Witty, Fun Festive Read!

Tinsel is a Heartwarming and Enchanting Christmas Middle Grade Read.

This story is all about Mrs Claus and Christmas. It's a magical adventure with lots of mischief, fun and Christmas Sparkle.

This story is also very empowering to women as it teaches children what it was like for women and how they wasn't treated equally. It teaches children the value of friendship and kindness.and treating people with respect.

The characters are simply enchanting
Dannii Elle
Almost every middle grade book I have read includes a message of morality to deliver to its young readers and this is especially so of Christmas stories. This one was no exception.

The duo who centred this story had a limitless belief in their future success and an unlimited supply of imagination, hard work ethics, and heart in order to achieve it. One of my favourite quotes from the book was "One day things will be different... One day the world will imagine more of girls. We'll make sure of it!
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ohhhh this book is full of joy! I felt SO happy as I read it, I laughed so much at all the fabulous lines and moments, and the ending was just perfect. Here's to the power of quirky girl friendships! Here's to ambition and kindness and Christmas fun!

Just to get this note out of the way - this book may officially be set in "Victorian London," but - just don't worry about that part, okay? It's not really historical in any sense except in a fun kind of homage to A Christmas Carol and our ideas abou
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A lovely and wonderful take on Christmas! ❤️🎄✨
Steph ✨
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was absolutely adorable. I really enjoyed the premise of the story and how the story was executed. A lot of fun for kids but also makes you think as an adult as well. Great adventure with some great friendships and important lessons for children too. Highly recommend.
Belles Middle Grade Library
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow this was amazing! Such a strong female empowering story! I love how the author made it clear that during the time this story is told, that girls couldn’t do the same as boys, or even get certain jobs if they were girls. When the main character disguises herself as a boy, & then does a job better than all the boys-the author proves we weren’t ever given enough credit....still aren’t in many ways. Also, no one even thought that the person delivering all those presents could possibly be a girl, ...more
Joey Susan
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Children’s Books for the Earc to read and review.

If you love Christmas then I 100% recommend you read this. It is Christmas perfection. From the incredible story being told, to the spirit throughout to the magical-ness of it all and the cast of characters we meet within. It’s a must read for any Christmas lover out there.

There are so many things I loved about this book for a start Blanche Claus yes it was so perfect that this story told us that ‘San
Dec 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
It's hard for me to find Christmas novels that really suit me, so four stars is high praise here. I found it charming and sweet and entertaining on the whole. A few bits were a tad quirky or just not my type of humor but mostly I was delighted. It's got an old-fashioned charm with some modern sensibilities and I found the twist on the Santa story generally quite well-done and clever. I really enjoyed most of the characters, too. Overall, definitely recommended with the caveat that readers should ...more
Sep 03, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

Ok lets start with the good here! Once the story gets going it is magical! I love the idea that we have got the story wrong all this time and actually Christmas was the invention of two orphan girls. It's very Christmas carol, meets Annie.

I however thought that the pacing was really off with this book. id say I spent a good 50% quite bored, the story wasn't really getting going, then I spent around 40% thinking I love this, its totally magically, and then again the last 10% fell flat.
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
An absolutely wonderful re-imagining of how Christmas came to have a Santa Claus and all the fun that comes with that. This is a kids middle grade book, but I'd recommend it anyway for a fun Christmas read! ...more
A fun and magical story perfect for the Christmas days.

I was hyped that Sibéal Pounder was having a new book, and that this one didn’t feature mermaids or witches (though always give me more of that), but instead a story about two girls and Christmas.

I wrote a good/in the middle/meh review (though most is just perfectly good as I really enjoyed this book).


-A fun retelling of the Santa Claus(e) story. This time with girls in the lead which made me quite happy! I loved seeing all the puzzle p
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Blance and Rinki have big plans for the world but as girls in a boys world will they be able to achieve them? And if they do will anybody believe it was a pair of girls?

This gave me proper Christmas vibes, it was brilliant. So festive and full of magic. I loved the characters, both Blanche and Rinki were wonderfully rounded. Blance especially was so determined and brave, I was behind her 100% of the way. Rinki and her adoptive parents were also a delight and I loved all of their relationships.

Tish Burley
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved this, I'm a big of anything that challenges what a woman or a girl can do and it was an interesting telling of our familiar tale. Filled with inspirational messages and Christmas joy

It had a lovely little message at the end about tinsel and the environmental impact, it gets a big thumbs up from me for that message alone
Robin Stevens
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Funny, charming and clever, this will give readers new insight into the true meaning of Christmas! (7+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without asking permission from me first. Thank you!*
This was a wonderful Christmas feel good book with two of my favourite tropes. Found family and CHRISTMAS!!
Who doesn’t like a Christmas book? This was sweet and wonderful and good wins out and everyone gets Christmas.
Rhiannon Thomas
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was such a brilliant festive story that highlighted the true magic of Christmas.
Blanche Claus is an orphan who dreams of bigger things than the life she leads in London as a carter. When she receives a magic bauble from a mysterious stranger, her world begins to change. Blanche soon finds herself in an unusual position and she, Rinki, Santa, and all of the Carols, prepare to make Christmas a magical time for every child in the world.
I enjoyed all the different elements that we got in this s
N.L. McFarlane
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have read a fair few Christmas stories in my time and most times they are predictable after the first few chapters or similar to other books and although festive... they can be just a tad repetitive. With this book however, I am almost left speechless as to how to describe this story. I am completely in love with this book, I was so engrossed and transported there into the story that I couldn't put it down and managed to read it in one evening. There are so many emotions here and this is such ...more
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing

I read this just after Christmas, yet it was still perfect! Bundle up in a cuddly blanket with a mug of hot chocolate and you're ready to match the vibe of this book: SO cozy! The story itself had me captivated as it had an exciting adventure element and I couldn't wait to see where it would take us readers next. Blanche, Rinki, Santa, the elves and the tree were such good characters! The found family vibe was strong in this one!

I generally could see myself re-reading this the next Christma
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am handing over the reins for this review to my 9 year old daughter...

It was a very enjoyable book with many twists. The main character Blanche is an inspiration to both young and old girls. Along the way she meets many friends and a few enemies...
This is a brilliant book to read on the build up to Christmas, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Mar 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, vk-shelf
This is a great, magical, enchanted story that would make a great animated film. I highly recommend it to children and children at heart and especially to girls all year round but especially at Christmas time. Longer review soon!
Dec 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
What a brilliant story!
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Soooo so good this book made crave mince pies and hot chocolate ^^
Shona Carnall
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic twist on the idea of Santa.
Yasmine Elmahdy
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
A laugh out loud, unique and heart warming story of how an alternative Santa Claus came to be. Will stay with me for many Christmas’s to come. Now I need a mince pie picnic and a mug of hot chocolate.
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Happy, festive, girl power middle grade story that kept me smiling all the way through.
Harriet Muncaster
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious, heartwarming and full of fun! I so, so enjoyed this festive book and the feminist streak that ran through it. I loved all the christmassy details peppered absolutely everywhere down to the mention of candycane striped cream, the mince pie picnics and the magical letters that burst into Tinsel. (I also really liked the fact that there was a little environmental message at the back about tinsel.) I loved the characters of Blanche and Rinki (love the name Rinki!) they were so full of war ...more
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a Magical story for ANYONE 🧚🏾‍♀️🧚🏽‍♂️🧚🏼.... I couldn’t put it down until the very last page 📖🥰
Lisa Bowman
The name’s Claus, Ms Claus, and she’s going to shake (not stir) your beliefs about Christmas. It was two girls, Blanche Claus and her friend Rinki, who invented the global one-night present distribution system. When we meet Blanche, she’s an orphan living under a bridge, and she’s not that into Christmas. It takes the enthusiasm of another waif, Rinki, bedecked in cast-off fripperies, to inspire Blanche's dreams of a Yuletide mission to give a present to each child all over the world on Christma ...more
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Sibéal has written for publications including The Guardian, fashion trend forecaster WGSN, and The Financial Times, where she was the resident philanthropy columnist for the How To Spend It section for six years. She studied Modern History at St Andrews and Quentin Tarantino film at Yale.

Her bestselling debut Witch Wars has been translated into 10 languages so far and was shortlisted for

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