This Christmas tale by Tom Fletcher of McFly fame was released last year and has got a musical makeover this year. It even had a limited run on stage in London this Christmas season (I’m hoping for a UK tour next year).
The middle grade story is an exciting tale of a lucky but lonely dinosaur and a young boy who is extremely dinosaur obsessed and, thanks to a new girl at school who is a bully, finds himself without his friends.
The cast of characters is great. William is actually a wheelchair user and Tom has worked with charity Whizz Kids to get his disability representation right. That’s not to say there isn’t some nasty attitudes to him displayed (from the nasty characters of course).
The Christmasaurus himself is a loveable character whose loneliness lands him in trouble but his luck in making friends comes in handy.
Willypoo’s Dad – Yes, that’s what he embarrassingly calls him – is a Christmas fanatic, and we find out why in the satisfying conclusion
Nasty girl Brenda Payne gets a whole story arc of her own and in the musical edition her songs are sung by Tom’s sister and fellow author and musical theatre star Carrie Hope Fletcher. Her rendition of I’ve Been a Good Girl reminds me a bit of Verruca in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Check out Carrie singing at the secret launch here.
Then there is Santa and the elves who all talk in rhyme much to Santa’s annoyance. The focus on Santa’s fatness was the low point of the book for me personally. But I loved all his magic and his toy making prowess.
Brenda isn’t the only one on the naughty list and there is a Hunter who after deciding eight flying reindeer aren’t rare enough goes after Christmasaurus.
Afraid of Heights is the song of the soundtrack for me. Tom Fletcher has a lovely tone to his voice and he mentions in the book loving The Snowman and this track gives me ‘Walking in the Air’ feels whilst being its own awesome song. Check out the official music video here.
This is going to become an annual Christmas favourite and I love the addition of the songs which you can listen to along with the story or on their own. I additionally listened to the audiobook (which audible was selling for 99p as part of their 12 days of Christmas) so was switching between my phone and CD player so would love them to do a version of the audiobook that had the songs including in the relevant places.
So I’m reviewing another picture book, and I bought this one! Written by Tom Fletcher of McFly fame and illustrated by Greg Abbott this is a short tale of trying to expel a monster from your book. It would be such a fun interactive story to read together because each page prompts another action to try and send him packing. Tickling, tilting, spinning, shouting.
The monster is so adorably drawn and the bold use of the primary colours Blue, Yellow and Red with Black and White make the story so vibrant.
This is a fairly large hardback book and that would probably be my only criticism because I think the book might be a bit unwieldy for some little arms.
The conclusion of the book explores what happens if you manage to get the monster out of your book??? Read to find out.