Book Review – Monster Christmas

“Monster Christmas”, written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Nikki Dyson, is a beautiful picture book which has just been published in a new paperback edition. The story, told in rhyming verse, surrounds a time when Father Christmas feels that he is getting too old to deliver Christmas presents around the world again. He feels that he needs some help this year.

Who volunteers to help him but this hairy green monster who looks friendly and cuddly, but everyone is afraid of him. How will he fulfill his obligation to deliver presents for Father Christmas to children all around the world?

While on the surface, this story is whimsical and fanciful, underneath the surface it deals with themes of friendship, kindness and acceptance of difference. The Monster has a dilemma as he says:

I’ve tried delivering these gifts

But everyone’s the same.

They just see what I look like,

Then they shout and call me names.

Verses like this one could spark a great oral discussion on being kind and friendly and how words can hurt. This book certainly has great scope for integration into SPHE topics.

Because the book is also written in rhyming verse, it could lead to an interactive re-telling of the story to see if pupils can finish the last rhyming word in the verse.

The illustrations are big, bold and colourful and they could lead to great discussion as each page is full of detail.

Monster Christmas, published by Hachette Children’s Books, is available to purchase now.