Title: The Christmasaurus
Author: Tom Fletcher
Illustrator: Shane Devries
Teacher review of The Christmasaurus, by Tom Fletcher
The Christmasaurus is the heartwarming tale of dinosaur-loving William Trundle. He longs for a real dinosaur of his own, so much so that he adds it to the top of his Christmas list. Nothing could prepare William for the fast-paced adventure that ensues once Santa Claus reads William’s list.
Tom Fletcher is better known for his picture books. But his first venture into fiction for older children has everything: adventure, elves, dinosaurs, family, magic, villains, humour and Christmas, all wrapped up in this festive treat.
Who could fail not to be amused by the elves, Snozzletrump, Spudcheeks, Snowcrumb, Sparklefoot et al? Each with their own character, talent and special role, they work together as a team, and communicate in rhyme and song – after all, Tom is also well known for his songwriting talents. I love the idea that elves communicate in rhyme. It’s one of those things young readers will just remember – a lovely touch.
The Hunter is by far the most menacing character in the book – a convincing villain, bringing an especially dark twist to the narrative. Our reviewers also found schoolgirl Brenda’s menacing character convincing, but found her transformation into a pleasant girl less credible.
Our reviewers and I agree that the story is a heartwarming one, encouraging empathy and tolerance but also bringing the magic of Christmas alive. Tom Fletcher has created a likeable boy in William, who adults and children alike will warm to. The humour will also work at all levels, especially the language used by the elves – I found myself giggling at their funnier lines.
Special mention should be made of the wonderful illustrations, by Shane Devries; they are an absolute joy and perfectly reflect the narrative. Our four reviewers were all entranced by the illustrations. The double-page illustration of Santa Claus on his sleigh especially captures the joy and magic of Christmas. Santa looks just as we all know he does. The use of different, stylised fonts at key points in the narrative is also fun.
I wondered if this might be a book that could only be enjoyed in the run-up to Christmas. But, while it would be magical to read each night as Christmas approaches, I believe children will love this book and appreciate its message all year round. It would be a great read for 7-11 year olds.
Sally Hamerton is school librarian at Crondall Primary in Hampshire. She tweets as @HamertonSally
'One more page...'
The book is about Father Christmas’s elves when they dig up a dinosaur egg, which belongs to the last dinosaur in the world. It’s also about a boy named William Trundle who loves dinosaurs. He wishes for a dinosaur for Christmas. He gets the surprise of his life on Christmas day!
My favourite character was the Christmasaurus, because he was cute and from the pictures he looked quite cuddly. My favourite part in the book was when The Hunter and his dog, Growler, get involved. I love action parts. When I was reading I thought to myself “I’ll read one more page,” but I ended up reading six more chapters!
The part I didn’t like so much was at the end of the book, where it isn’t clear whether Miss Payne and Mr Trundle stay together. Other than that the book was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!
If I had to rate the book out of ten it would be 9.5. It will sell millions of copies
Romy, Year 5
'Nothing I disliked'
The Christmasaurus is about a boy called William Trundle, who loves everything dinosaur. Unfortunately, William is in a wheelchair, due to an accident that happened when he was younger. He lives in a wonky house with his Dad, who has always loved Christmas. Even a very strange Christmas, like the one coming up this year…
I loved this book. My favourite characters were Christmasaurus and the elves. I liked the elves for their weird songs and funny costumes. My favourite elves were Starlump and Sparklefoot. I enjoyed the part when Christmasaurus was flying under the Northern Lights.
There was nothing I disliked about the book, it was very entertaining and made me laugh a lot. However, there were characters I disliked in the book, especially the Hunter.
This book would be good for ages 8-12. And it would be a good match for anyone who likes an adventure.
I would rate this book 9/10 because it was funny, adventurous and really entertaining.
Tabitha, Year 5
'It doesn't end suddenly'
This was an amazing book!
My favourite character in this book is the Christmasaurus because he is so cute and friendly! The book made me laugh and I wanted to keep on reading! It was so good it felt like I was actually in the book! I like the way it doesn’t end suddenly like most books do. But when you get to the end you want it to never, ever end.
We all liked the character Brenda more when she was mean because she was a bit soppy when she was nice.
The hunter was very scary. The illustrations of him were very good because he looks so evil.
I would say this book is for children ages 8-11 years. I really hope Tom Fletcher writes more books. Will there be a sequel?
Tierney, Year 5
I really enjoyed reading this book. It teaches children never to give up.
The book has a lovely storyline and teaches good morals and that you can do anything when you believe.
I would recommend it for ages seven and up because there is some violence with a hunter who smokes a pipe. The illustrations are of a very high standard and the writing creates a good image in your mind!
Kate, Year 5
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