The Class Book Review: The Great Reindeer Disaster

This Christmas novel by Kate Saunders was a funny pick for this class and challenged the traditional notions of 'good' and 'bad'

Angela Kent

Book review: the great reindeer disaster

The Great Reindeer Disaster 

Author: Kate Saunders
Illustrator: Neal Layton
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Details: 176 pages; £6.99
ISBN: 978-0571348985

This hilarious tale starts during the Trubshaw’s family summer holiday in Devon, when, unexpectedly, a reindeer falls down the cottage chimney. From here, the story takes on an even more bizarre twist as the family are accidentally transported to a different planet – Yule 1 – a world of elves and talking reindeer, where Operation Christmas happens on a daily basis.

The premise of this adventure is that Krampus isn’t happy that he can no longer deliver coal to ‘bad’ children, so together with his sidekick, Nerkins, he decides it’s time to ruin Christmas forever.

Jake and Sadie, the children in the story, become friends with a couple of young reindeer siblings called Percy and Belinda. Together the human and reindeer families help Father Christmas (also known as F.C.) find his kidnapped reindeer and save Christmas.

Kate Saunders has created a unique and humorous take on the idea of how Christmas is organised as well as where Father Christmas actually lives. This book contains a cast of endearing characters, from the Trubshaw family who take everything in their stride, to the famous reindeer troops that the young reindeer aspire to be. Neal Layton’s fabulous illustrations are a valuable addition to this crazy adventure.

This out of this world adventure has been enjoyed by all the pupils. I think this would make an excellent seasonal class read, challenging the traditional notions of ‘bad’ children and giving an alternative way the delivering of Christmas presents may happen.

Angela Kent is a librarian at Four Lanes Junior School in Basingstoke 

Pupil reviews

‘F.C. rules on Yule 1’

I really enjoyed reading this book, it was really funny and I liked that all the reindeer, elves and Father Christmas lived on a different planet called Yule 1. It’s funny how Father Christmas called himself F.C. as it sounds more important. Percy the reindeer made me laugh most, especially when he lied about his age – saying he was 28 instead of 9.

Jazmine, age 10

‘A quick learner’

I liked that Jake learns really quickly how to fly and that he helps some of his reindeer friends, so that when they are older they can be on the delivery service and help to deliver all the Christmas presents. I think there is a lot of humour (which is great) and that the author describes the characters really well.

Lily, age 10

‘Chaos on Yule 1’

This book is packed with bucketloads of fun, humour and is awfully entertaining. I liked how Santa calls himself F.C. (which stands for Father Christmas). The main characters in the story are Percy, Jake, Belinda and Sadie. Percy and Belinda are reindeers that live on planet Yule 1 – which is where FC, his elves and his reindeer actually live. There is loads of chaos on Yule 1 caused by Krampus and Nerkins (who are basically the bad guys), they do not like Christmas. I think it is very funny when Sadie invites a train to a tea party to try to turn it good and then does the same with Krampus and Nerkins.

Chloe, age 10

‘A sleigh worth of humour’

This book is very entertaining and features a sleigh worth of humour! It flies you through a Christmassy adventure of the troublesome Percy and the real baddies Krampus and Nerkins. My favourite character was Fred Dancer, who is a continuously hungry young reindeer with an overprotective mother. According to Jake (the human son of the Trubshaws), Fred’s mother is ‘the fattest reindeer he’d ever seen’. The worst part of the story was it ending as I can’t wait to see if there will be a second book! Apart from the super writing, this book tested my patience as it made me very merry.

Rebecca, age 9 ¾

‘See you soon’?

I would rate this book 5 out of 5 because of the comedy. I found it hilarious when Percy (the reindeer) fell down the chimney in the Trubshaw’s summer holiday cottage. The second reason I enjoyed the book was the adventure, especially when Krampus kidnapped Dasher and it was Percy and Jake who helped to save him. The very best bit about the book though was that it feels like another book is going to come out because the ending says ‘see you soon’.

Jacob, age 9

‘A book full of laughs and giggles’

I enjoyed this book, especially when Percy falls down the Trubshaw’s holiday cottage chimney (that’s when it gets crazy). I loved this book as it made me laugh and giggle. I would totally recommend it to all children aged 7+ and would definitely give it 5/5 stars.

Olivia, age 10

‘A Yule 1 Adventure’

There was a little chubby reindeer called Percy who was very funny, and I think that this book was really good as it has an amazing adventure. From my point of view, it had very interesting parts and made me laugh. I would rate this book 5 out of 5 and I would definitely recommend it to ages 8 and over.

Ruby, age 10

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Angela Kent

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