Last Christmas I received The Christmasaurus as a present and in the new year as I day dreamed of all the fun I’d had whilst finishing off the festive foods I decided it was the perfect time to read Tom Fletcher’s book. I loved McFly when I was younger and I still remember watching Tom’s wedding song in awe, so I was excited to see what he might bring to the bookish world. Christmas is also my favourite time of the year and I love dinosaurs so I had high expectations. Luckily The Christmasuarus did not disappoint, becoming the best choice for my first book of 2018!
The book starts off setting up various different stories and locations that will be followed throughout the book – The Christmasaurus, Santa, and the protagonist, William. I was immediately drawn in to the interesting characters and their lives. Tom Fletcher writes with a lyrical quality (unsurprising really) that paints such vivid pictures in your mind. He even wrote in entertaining rhymes for the elves, and I’m not always a fan of characters breaking into verse in the middle of a paragraph but this really worked. It added a magical quality, and of course Santa and his elves are magical. The words flow so quickly across the page and have a warm and familiar feel to them. The illustrations by Shane Devries also really helped. The drawings are so beautiful and detailed, they were such a welcome addition to this book. The world this writing and drawing duo created was new and familiar at the same time.
Now, back to the story and its inhabitants. The story takes place in the run up to Christmas following the life of William, who is wheelchair bound, and his Christmas loving father. And then there’s Santa and the elves who are preparing the final touches for the big day, and of course the Christmasaurus himself. I loved how the book switched between the two locations, intertwining the life of dinosaur obsessed William and the Christmasaurus, who didn’t feel like he quite belonged and was in awe of the flying reindeer. Each character had interesting lives with obstacles they all had to overcome, from creating the perfect present to fulfill a child’s Christmas wish or overcoming bullies. I found myself making time to read because I enjoyed the story so much. It was quick and engaging and so well written. The villain was introduced quite late but I didn’t mind because I was enjoying learning about William and the Christmasaurus anyway. I loved that everyone ended up happy as it was the perfect finish to a Christmas story and totally warmed my heart. There were many clear life lessons, like different is good and believing is seeing, but it is a children’s book after all so I didn’t mind.
I had to add in a tiny paragraph here to talk about my favourite character – the Christmasaurus himself! From the moment he was introduced to the story I fell head over heels in love with him. The Christmasaurus didn’t speak at all but his personality leaked out of every movement and interaction. Tom Fletcher created an adorable dinosaur with a heart big enough to love everyone. He marveled at the flying reindeer, learned about his own kind, made a boy’s dreams, and even saved Christmas. If you can’t tell, I really loved the Christmasaurus, so much I’d still praying they’ll make a plush of him one day!
Considering The Christmasaurus is a children’s book I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. I thought it was written so maturely but easy for children to understand. The story was fast-paced but easy to follow and engaging all at the same time. The characters were dimensional and felt real emotions. Overall this was such a visual, lyrical book that encapsulated the meaning of Christmas. I didn’t know I needed dinosaurs and Christmas until now, but I’ll think of this story forever! This is a heartwarming tale for children and adults alike, so I’d recommend this if you’re reading with younger kids or they’re starting their own reading story, but I’d also recommend this to any bookish people who love a warm, Christmas tale.