#BookReview: A Phone for Christmas by Talia Zales @TaliaZales #ChildrensBooks @bookroar_tweets

Hi everyone. Today I have a book review for you from an author new to me, Talia Zales. This is a children’s book, which I like to read and review from time to time. I’ll have another little-one’s book review in a couple of weeks >>>

About the Book:

A Phone for Christmasย is a captivating tale about the importance of family togetherness, cultivating friendships and the unyielding passage of time.

A Phone for Christmasย tells the story of 10-year-old Luis who writes to Santa Claus asking for a phone for Christmas. After receiving so many letters asking for cell phones, Santa decides to deactivate everyone’s cells phones for an entire year! He sends each family a red rotary phone and a scroll of gray listing what each family needs to do to earn their cell phone back.

How will everyone cope without their screen-time? Will Luis ever get a cell phone? Find out what happens inย A Phone for Christmas!

P.S. What would you do without your cell phone for a whole year?


My Review:


A story with an important message and lovely illustrations

I read a Kindle version of this sweet little book. The text is embedded within the pictures, and if needed the screen can be resized for reading. I love the idea of everybody having to spend a year without a mobile phone and interacting more with their family and friends instead, which includes playing games the old-fashioned way. Instead of pull quotes, I’ve taken a photo of one of the pages to give you an idea of the layout of the book and the style of the writing >>>


interior screenshot of book



The narrative is told from the perspective of a grandfather telling his grandkids a tale from his childhood and shows the importance of face-to-face contact and spending time in the real world, away from the screen, and making memories together. Although this story is set at Christmas time, it spans a whole year, and is a lovely read for any season.ย A Phone for Christmasย gets a solid four stars from me.


NOTE ON RATINGS:ย I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER โ€” Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! โ€” An okay read. Didnโ€™t love it. Didnโ€™t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS โ€”Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA โ€”Lots of issues with this book.

For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08B8BDLW1/

US https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08B8BDLW1/

Iโ€™d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚ย 


22 Comments on “#BookReview: A Phone for Christmas by Talia Zales @TaliaZales #ChildrensBooks @bookroar_tweets

  1. Sound like a cute and timely read, Harmony. At least there are still peor that remember a time for these phones.

    • I think itโ€™s important to ensure the younger generations can remember too. The offline days that are gaining momentum (ironically via social media!) hearten me. Thanks, Denise ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™‚

    • Itโ€™s an interesting idea. I wonder how many kids would totally mutiny? ๐Ÿ˜‰Thanks, Jacqui ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Sounds like a delightful book. I remember back to the time of no phones, and it was a different world for sure. Thanks for sharing your review, Harmony.

  3. I love the concept and when we lost electricity (and phone charging possibilities), I thought about life without such conveniences. I think we’d have a different world if we had more human contact. Great review, Harmony. Thank you for sharing. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    • We had one of our best Christmases ever in 2022, Gwen. The advertised TV programmes were so awful, or repeats, we decided to leave it off, and took it a step further on the day and Boxing Day by banning laptops etc too. Walks… board games… CONVERSATION! We’ll be doing the same this year.

    • While much of my childhood interactions could have been ‘nicer’, I do remember people being more ‘there’ without all this modern tech. I do miss that level of human contact. Thanks, Gwen ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. I love the idea behind this book, but I have my doubts about it even in print. The balance of words to pictures is way too much unless the language is so simple a youngish child could read it for him or herself. The illustrations are insufficient to hold the attention of a younger child while it’s read by an adult. If it was offered to Readers’ Favorite for a review, I would give it an unpublished three stars and suggest it might do better as four books, perhaps opening with Christmas. The stories you mention, Harmony, could still be included, but the illustrations could be bigger, more colourful, and with lots of detail with less words per page.

    If you, or anyone else, is wondering, I do review for Readers’ Favorite, and I see a lot of children’s books. Also, think of Julia Donaldson and the ratio of words to pictures in her books. The children in my life loved them from the days when they were read aloud until they were eight or nine, and they still occupy spaces on bookshelves between reference books for college and adult fiction classics.

    • For me, the intended age range is of vital importance. For the slightly older child, I wouldnโ€™t expect it to have the text per images reduced. Most of the customer age ratings put this at 5 years and upwards, and I would tend to agree with that assessment. In my experience, the skill of the adult reader in putting character into the reading aloud also makes a huge difference, as well as the childโ€™s attention span and reading ability. All of which, informed this review.

      Thanks, Sarah ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ˜Š