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Cambridge author Kelley Donner's new children's book finds Father Christmas 'elf-isolating'



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What happens when world leaders cancel Christmas due to Covid-19?

Image from Kelley Donner's book, A Very Corona Christmas: Santa Stays Home
Image from Kelley Donner's book, A Very Corona Christmas: Santa Stays Home

Just as Father Christmas decides he has no other choice but to furlough his elves until the pandemic is over, a bright young elf brings him a letter from a little girl that changes everything...

This is the premise of a new children’s picture book from Cambridge-based author and illustrator Kelley Donner entitled A Very Corona Christmas: Santa Stays Home.

A hilarious and heartwarming tale for children aged between three and eight, A Very Corona Christmas weaves together all of the craziness of 2020 into a delightful story about a little elf who saves Christmas from being cancelled.

Kelley, a mother of three, understands that this year more than ever, children need Christmas.

Image from Kelley Donner's book, A Very Corona Christmas: Santa Stays Home
Image from Kelley Donner's book, A Very Corona Christmas: Santa Stays Home

Full of beautiful watercolour illustrations, A Very Corona Christmas creatively shows the North Pole trying to function in the midst of a global pandemic.

Kelley says: “My kids and I began talking about what life would be like at the North Pole and how Santa would respond to Covid-19.

“We figured Santa, being older, would likely be sheltering at home and the elves would have to come up with creative ways to watch children from afar, such as watching kids on Zoom lessons.

“My sons, aged six, nine and 11, helped me a lot with the story ideas and we had a lot of good laughs coming up with illustrations.

“I also included a few little jokes for parents that most children won’t even catch, because I think it’s important that parents enjoy this book as much as kids do.”

Image from Kelley Donner's book, A Very Corona Christmas: Santa Stays Home
Image from Kelley Donner's book, A Very Corona Christmas: Santa Stays Home

Many of the ideas from Kelley’s family made it into the book, such as the Santa-tizer sprayer on the side of Santa’s Covid-ready sleigh and Santa learning to make sourdough bread during lockdown. For this reason, she has dedicated the book to her three boys, Jonas, Lukas, and Max.

Author and illustrator Kelley Donner
Author and illustrator Kelley Donner

American-born Kelley, who has worked in the US, Germany and the UK, has written several children’s stories including this year’s bestselling The Day the Lines Changed, which explains what a pandemic is to small children.

A Very Corona Christmas book cover
A Very Corona Christmas book cover

She has also worked an educator for more than 20 years and is currently finishing her master of arts in illustration and book arts at the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University.

Her books are available on Amazon. For more information, visit kelleydonner.com.



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