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December Book of the Month

8th December 2018


December Book of the Month

Season’s Greetings!

As the festive season begins, it’s time to think about buying gifts so keep in mind the saying “Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read” when choosing presents for children this Christmas.

A festive book for young children

‘Lucy and Tom’s Christmas’ by Shirley Hughes


This old favourite has all the warmth and traditions of the ideal family Christmas. There's a lot of love and friendship in Shirley Hughes' beautifully observed pictures which exactly capture the way people are.

 Children with sensory processing needs will appreciate the moment when the excitement of Christmas overwhelms Tom so that his Grandpa, sensitive to his grandson’s needs, takes him for a calming and magical walk along the snowy streets.

Look at the superb sequence of drawings of the baby more interested in the wrapping paper than the present, or at Tom, leaning back secure and calm again between Grandpa's legs; the two lovingly entwined figures in Shirley Hughes' drawing express far more than words.



‘Lucy and Tom’s Christmas’ Activity Sheet


A festive book for older children

‘The Christmasaurus’ by Tom Fletcher


William Trundle is a 10-year-old wheelchair user who is obsessed with dinosaurs. He lives happily with his dad Bob, until one day Brenda Payne, the meanest girl in the whole school (possibly the world!) joins his class and turns William’s life upside down. For the first time ever, William feels very different from his friends and he becomes miserable.

Little does he know that far away in the North Pole is a lonely dinosaur called the Christmasaurus, who also feels very different. On Christmas Eve, the two cross paths in the most unexpected way, leading them to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and build a friendship that will change them both forever. 

The Christmasaurus is a joy to read. Tom talks to the reader directly, and uses lots of fun description and silly Roald Dahl inspired language like ‘kickerbashed and knockerboshed.’ In fact, Santa’s elves singing in rhyme reminded me of the Oompa Loompas from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!  There are loads of laugh-out-loud moments to amuse small kids and big kids alike.

The enchanting illustrations and brilliant writing make it so easy to get lost in the story.  I felt like I was actually eating Cosmos Converting Candy Canes and drinking North Star-bucks in the North Pole Snow Ranch!

Not only is The Christmasaurus well-written, it also captures what it’s like to be a wheelchair user perfectly.  William is an ordinary boy doing normal stuff like going to school and playing with friends.

On the other hand, he has experiences unique to being a wheelchair user, like needing help to pick up a dropped pencil or running over people’s feet on a semi-regular basis! I could relate to him so much; he reminded me of me when I was at school!

        This book review appears on the Whizzkidz website and was written by Rebecca, a wheelchair user.  


  1. Watch this ‘virtually live’ video with author Tom Fletcher and decide what questions you would like to ask him. The Christmasaurus Special film lasts for 30 minutes.
  2. You can write a book review yourself and send it to Shine by email or post. Share your favourite book with Shine by asking a parent or carer to email  Or post to Shine, 42 Park Road, Peterborough, PE1 2UQ


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