“The Great Reindeer Disaster” by Kate Saunders and Neal Layton is a brilliantly funny look at what happens when a young and accident prone reindeer called Percy lands on the Trubshaw family’s roof. We meet the villainous Krampus and the various teams of reindeer who make sure that all presents are delivered on the great day. There are thrills and laughs as young Jake and Sadie Trubshaw try and save Christmas from being ruined. This is a great read for those who are just beginning to read with confidence and will make a great present.
“The Santa Surprise” (Winnie and Wilbur) by Laura Owen and Korky Paul once again has the hilarious Winnie the Witch and Wilbur preparing for the festive celebrations, but then Winnie wonders ‘who gives presents to Father Christmas?’ she and Wilbur hatch a plan to prove Santa with a surprise and of course all sorts of things go wrong before finally they get sorted out. This is one of the stories intended for the young reader of chapter books and is full of Korky Paul’s delightful and energetic illustrations.
“Angel on the Roof” by Shirley Hughes is a magical and hopeful story about a young boy called Lewis Brown and what happens when he finds a golden feather floating down from the roof of the flats where he lives. The setting is quite bleak as everyone lives separate lives and there are frictions all around in the community. Lewis is often bullied by other young people because of a weak leg but things might just be about to get better. When he climbs to the roof of the flats he discovers an angel and begins to talk to him, thus beginning a new friendship. gradually over a few days the presence of the angel has an impact on people, even though they are not aware of his existence. this is a beautiful story about developing friendships and not judging people; it has lessons for all of us.
“Rose Campion and the Christmas Mystery” by Lyn Gardner is the third and final story in the series about the young Rose Campion, who had been left as a baby outside the doors of Campion’s Music Hall. There is danger and deception as the performers prepare for Christmas and the pantomime season. Murder and mayhem follow as the criminal called ‘The Duchess’ sets her sights on stealing a precious emerald necklace from a friend of Rose. Eventually all is revealed, and this includes the secret of Rose’s parents, but will it be a truly happy Christmas for everyone?
“Snowflakes, Silver and Secrets” (Seaview Stables Adventures) by Tracey Corderoy is the third in a series of books about the pony-mad Bryony and her collection of friends. There is a Christmas fair and a pantomime but in the middle of this some silver goes missing from the home of Bryony’s arch-nemesis Georgina Brook. It is up to Bryony and her friends to find out what has happened and to stop others from being blamed for something they didn’t do. A perfect gift for those pony-mad members of the family.
“The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch” by Tom Fletcher and Shane deVries follows on from the original ‘Christmasaurus’ and this time the young hero Will discovers that Christmas itself is under threat. Children are beginning to lose their belief in Christmas and when they all do this then the festival itself will cease to exist; not only that, but the reindeer, elves and Father Christmas will also disappear. Will needs the help of his step-sister Brenda and his friend the Christmasaurus to go back in time and save Christmas from being banned. What a glorious way to start the holiday season; this book is full of joy but it will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, just in case the villains actually win. It is a great book for any middle grade reader (and the adults in their lives).
I hope that you will find something here to enjoy over the holiday and that many of them will become firm favourites over the coming years. Happy Christmas everyone.