Write a Review Wednesday: Christmas with Rita and Whatsit

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week I looked at Sterling Publishing’s new book The Great Reindeer Rebellion (4-8), a funny Christmas rhyme written by Lisa Trumbauer and illustrated by Jannie Ho. Still keeping in the Christmas spirit this week, I’m reviewing Christmas with Rita and Whatsit written by Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod and illustrated by Olivier Tallec. Published by Chronicle Books, I have Crystal at Raincoast Books to thank for my review copy.


Rita is a little girl with a big personality. Whatsit is a dog without a name. Together they make the best of friends.

It’s Christmas Eve and there’s so much for Rita and Whatsit to do before Santa comes: write letters to Santa, decorate the Christmas tree, make no-bake Christmas gloop cake, howl a few Christmas carols, and hang a stocking (and a few shoes since Rita likes to think big). Finally it’s bedtime. It’s midnight and not a creature is stirring, except Whatsit, who can’t sleep. But what’s that? Whatsit goes to investigate a sound and lets out a his biggest dog BARK!  Oh no, did Whatsit scare away Santa?

My kids loved the characters of Rita and Whatsit. They loved the independence of Rita, a young girl in the story doing her own things to get ready to Santa. And Whatsit’s antics made them laugh: decorating his own treat with bologna or juggling tree ornaments. My oldest commented that her cats would do the same thing (except with a tree of fish).

The relationship between child and pet is one many families can relate to. Reading Christmas with Rita and Whatsit brings a wonderful child-like innocence and wonder to the whole Christmas preparation rituals. This is emphasized with the simple sketch drawings, punctuated only by Rita’s red dress and Whatsit’s red eye spot. This is a wonderful story about friendship.

You can add Christmas with Rita and Whatsit to your own personal library from Amazon.ca. You can also enjoy the antics of Rita and Whatsit in their other two books: Rita and Whatsit and Rita and Whatsit at the Beach. If you’re looking for other great books for kids, take a read through the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.


2 responses to this post.

  1. […] support to authors of kids literature. Last time I looked at Chronicle Books cute Christmas story Christmas with Rita and Whatsit written by Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod and illustrated by Olivier Tallec. This week I have Sterling […]


  2. […] Christmas with Rita and Whatsit – Follow the adventures of Rita and her dog Whatsit as they prepare for Christmas as only a child (and child-like dog) would. I love the simple line drawing illustrations with just a splash of orange and green throughout. https://cabadov.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/warw-christmas-with-rita-and-whatsit/ […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: