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Tea and Sugar Christmas

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About the Story

The Tea and Sugar train only came once a week on a Thursday. But the special Christmas train only came once a year. Today was Sunday. Four more days without sugar. Four more days until the Christmas train. Please, please be on time. Please don't be late. 

Join Kathleen in the outback as she eagerly awaits the Christmas Tea and Sugar train. Will she meet Father Christmas? Will she receive a Christmas gift from him? 

Set along a railway track in Australia on the Nullabor Plain, Tea and Sugar Christmas tells the story of the Tea and Sugar train, that carted groceries, news, medical services and other goods from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie for 81 years between 1915 to 1996 and was a real lifeline for many isolated communties. Once a year, the Tea and Sugar train transformed into the special Christmas train and carried an eagerly awaited visitor.

Jane Jolly's beautiful and heartwarming story is the perfect blend of real and imagined, and gives viewers wonderful insight into a slice of Australian history. Robert Ingpen's illustrations are a mixture of charming pencil sketch portraits and stunning full-colour landscapes, and are truly sublime. 

Beautifully told by actor Ursula Yovich, Tea and Sugar Christmas will intrigue and captivate viewers young and old. 


*captions available. 
*included in the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge K-2 list.
*included in the VIC Premier's Reading Challenge 5-6 list.
*included in the SA Premier's Reading Challenge R-2 list.

Story Details



Australian Theme, Award Winners, CBCA Previously Shortlisted, Christmas, Community, Historical, Hope, Indigenous Culture, Non Fiction, NSW PRC, SA PRC, VIC PRC

Suitable for

Lower Primary (5-8yrs), Middle Primary (8-10yrs), Upper Primary (10-12yrs)



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