Review Blog

Dec 02 2019

The Christmasaurus and the winter witch (You're on the naughty list) by Tom Fletcher

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Illus. by Shane Devries. Penguin Random House Australia, 2019. ISBN: 9780241338537.
(Ages 8-12). Highly recommended. Themes: Christmas, Dinosaurs, Children with Physical disabilities, Magic. William (who is in a wheelchair), his dad, his new girlfriend Pamela and her daughter Brenda are taken on a tour of the North Pole by Santa in the week before Christmas. While on this tour they meet the Winter witch who shows William a time in the future when Christmas is banned. To a boy and his family who embrace all that Christmas has to offer with true enthusiasm, this is a disaster. William must work with his good friend the Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch to try to save Christmas.
The story involves a great variety of Christmas characters in the North Pole such as the elves who sing a delightful song of welcome to William on their arrival. The other Christmassy magic, such as the little wishes in the Forest of wishes and the Brain freeze potion, to allow the Winter witch to freeze time for Santa on his journey around the world, will interest young readers and work well to explain the way Santa works at Christmas. The fact that Santa doesn't trust Brenda with a special magic bean he gives to William creates a way for Brenda's nasty toy store owner father to create the chaos that may destroy Christmas.
The story also explores the idea of the blended family and many children who move between two parents and two houses, especially at Christmas, will empathize with the way Brenda and William's adventures allow them to develop into true siblings by the end of the story.
This will be a popular story for families to read at Christmas time to get into the festive spirit. The way the author uses his voice to intrude into the story and increases the magic and humour for the reader is like having your own personal conversation with the writer while you read. Although this is the second book in this series it stands alone and is a delightful, adventurous story that will appeal to many Middle primary children especially at Christmas.
Gabrielle Anderson

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