‘The Christmasaurus’ by Tom Fletcher
A rather festive recommendation for February, however I couldn’t write a blog post without including it! Now, I’ve read this book myself and to the children I work with, both times I truly felt it captured the magic of Christmas (and dinosaurs, of course!). The story centres around William Trundle, a boy in a wheelchair who loves both Christmas and dinosaurs, until a new girl at school makes him feel as though he doesn’t fit in. Meanwhile, in the North Pole, lives the Christmasaurus, the only one of his kind who also feels like he doesn’t belong. The story explores this concept of ‘fitting in’ and ‘belonging’ through the joy of Christmas as these two characters collide. Fletcher writes some inspirational messages whilst embedding humour and song through the rather amusingly named elves! It will make you laugh, warm your heart and remember the true meaning of Christmas through rather unique magical story.
I feel the story could be independently read from around aged 9+ but equally I feel that younger children would appreciate the story if it was read to them, as it is accompanied by beautiful illustrations.The story is further being adapted into a live show in December 2017.
‘The tiger who came to tea’ by Judith Kerr
This was my absolute favourite picture book and story when I was younger. I would ask my parents to read it again and again as a bedtime story (or an anytime of the day story really!). It is very much a story for younger children, as I feel it encourages them to imagine this story happening in their own lives. The story line is very a simple, a tiger comes to visit a young girl Sophie and her mother for tea. He eats all of their food and the end of the story sees them heading out with daddy to the cafe for tea. It’s a simple and endearing story that I just had to recommend for childhood nostalgia.
I would recommend this book to younger children.
‘A child of books’ by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston
I am a big fan of the work of Oliver Jeffers and had several recommendations for this book before I read it myself. The story follows a little girl, a child of books, who meets another little boy and takes him on a journey. There is an important message to the story, which I feel many of us in the modern age have forgotten, the power of books and imagination. The two children in the story go on a journey using their imagination inspired by the different books they have read.The book has beautiful illustrations made up of the words of different stories, which really emphasises the idea that books create whole new worlds through the words they use. But, the part of the story which really touched my heart was the very last line ‘imagination is free’. Play doesn’t have to be made up by technology, it reminds us of the importance of reading to children allowing them to imagine and dream.
Younger children would definitely respond the the illustrations, however I feel older children would be able to appreciate the message and dissect the pictures further.