Monster Christmas

Monster Christmas
Giles Andreae and Nikki Dyson
Orchard Books

As Christmas approaches, Father Christmas, relaxing by the fire, is feeling somewhat jaded with his creaky knees; he seems to have lost the zest for that delivery job of his. Perhaps it’s finally time to recruit a replacement – someone special – young and different – to take on the role of spreading kindness and good cheer. He writes a wanted notice and duly dispatches it.

Meanwhile in distant Monster Land a family talks over tea. Little Monster informs his parents that it’s time for him to see more of the world.
Just as he’s uttered his intention, what should come wafting in but that note of FC’s.

Then having bid his parents a fond and hasty farewell, he’s up and off trudging through chilly weather, destination the North Pole and Father Christmas’s front door.

There he is eagerly recruited, and a training regime begins. It’s not too long before he’s declared ready for the task

and so off he sets, destination this time, a shopping mall, therein to erect a grotto wherein to welcome all the little children.
Things don’t go quite as planned however as it’s with terror not seasonal delight, that Monster Christmas is received. Sob sob – that’s the monster, not the children who scream and shout. Surely things will improve thinks our optimistic would-be gift bestower. Instead there’s not a single house in a single town prepared to welcome Monster Christmas and his sleigh that year.

Exhausted, the reindeer plummet earthwards to land right on the edge of the world and it’s there that a lonely young lass lies abed slumbering in her cosy igloo.

Will she too send little Monster Christmas packing? What do you think?

With its wonderfully heart-warming conclusion, Giles Andreae delivers a terrific rhyming narrative that will certainly remind readers and listeners of what Christmas is really all about. Nikki Dyson’s depictions of Monster Christmas will definitely win him countless admirers with his adorable demeanour and positive attitude against all the odds.

Monstrous fun: this one’s an instant winner in my book and so it will be with youngsters who will definitely demand frequent re-readings during the build-up to yuletide. Teachers, just think what a smashing school festive performance this would make.

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