The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for The Christmasaurus. You can read my review of this novel [here].

The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch was written by Tom Fletcher and first published in 2019. It is a fantasy story that focuses on a young boy and his friendship with the magical blue dinosaur that helps to pull Santa’s sleigh. The novel follows on from where The Christmasaurus (2016) left off and so I would recommend reading them in sequence in order to fully appreciate them.

It has been a year since William first met the Christmasaurus and he can’t wait to see his magical friend again. When Santa shows up early to invite William on a tour of the North Pole, he is thrilled to finally get to share the fun with Brenda, Pamela and Bob. Santa is excited to show off the Elf Village and the first ever Christmas Tree. However, when Santa asks the Tree to grant each of the children one of its magical present-making beans, Brenda is annoyed that the Tree seems only willing to give one to William.

On returning home, Brenda convinces herself that she would make better use of the bean than William and steals it from his pocket. However, she soon realises the error of her ways when it falls into the hands of her Christmas-hating father. Barry Payne is the owner of a huge toy store and, with bean in hand, may finally have the power to put Santa out of business for good.

As belief in Christmas begins to fade, Santa and the elves slowly begin to vanish. The only way to save him might be to use the magic of the Winter Witch – a being who is able to control time – to change the past and restore the belief of children everywhere. However, meddling with time is dangerous and William and his friends need to be careful not to cause irreparable damage to the future…

It has been a few years since the world was first introduced to the Christmasaurus and so I was really excited to get my hands on his second adventure. I am also very pleased to say that I was not disappointed. The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch had just as much heart as the original, filled with enough adventure and Christmas cheer to appeal to lovers of festive period of all ages.

Before I begin there are a few things to note. First of all, the author of The Christmasaurus is a patron of Whizz-Kids, which is a charity dedicated to helping to provide equipment and support for disabled children. This is a truly amazing cause and it’s certainly worth a visit to their website if you want to find out more about the fantastic work that they do.

Secondly, I would definitely recommend buying a physical copy of this book. It is truly beautiful and would make a fantastic Christmas gift for a young reader. The novel is illustrated throughout by the immensely talented Shane Devries who does a brilliant job of catching the personality of the characters. The illustrations truly capture the heart of this story and are sure to be loved by readers of all ages.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the story itself. The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch is a celebration of the very best things about the holidays, from flying reindeer to festive woolly jumpers. Yet, while the novel does present the warmest and loveliest things about Christmas, the thing that I loved the most was how Fletcher put his own unique spin on this. In this novel, the Christmasaurus’s world felt thoroughly fleshed out. It reveals the secret of how Santa stops time in order to visit every child in one night and precisely how he manages to create the perfect present for everyone.

While the early chapters, in which William and his family explored the North Pole, did feel a little bit slow in places, they set up important plot points which were developed in the second act. The magic bean, Winter Witch and opening hint regarding a future without Christmas were all vital to the story, which became clear as the novel progressed. Once William and his family returned from their trip, these threads started to draw together to create a fast-paced adventure with plenty of magical time-travelling, focusing on William and the Christmasaurus as they rush to change the future.

Although The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch could be a little bit sad in places, it still built to a really heart-warming finale. Beneath the Christmassy fluff, there were some subtle messages concerning the meaning of family (as William struggled with his feelings towards his new step-family) and the typical message concerning the fact that Christmas means more than just presents. My only real disappointment was that the villain was a bit shallow. Ultimately, he turned out to be a real-world Scrooge who was simply obsessed with money. The novel offered him no redemption or justification for his completely un-Christmassy attitude.

Yet the other characters do get a lot more development. I truly love William as a protagonist, as he is always optimistic and enthusiastic about Christmas. His unwavering belief in the Christmasaurus is also utterly endearing, allowing the two of them to overcome any obstacles that are thrown in the way through a combination of friendship and magic. I also love the fact that William is a wheelchair user as disabled protagonists are incredibly rare in children’s literature. The novel handles this fact in the best possible way, portraying him as being just as active and independent as any other child.

Brenda also gets a lot more development this time around, as she is present for the entire story and slowly begins to understand the true meaning of Christmas. While she does make a lot of mistakes in the novel, she also truly learns from them and I frequently found myself feeling sorry from her as her “naughtiness” rapidly caused things to spiral out of her control.

Anyhow, I think that about covers everything. All in all, The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch is another fantastic novel from Fletcher and one that I would recommend as a gift for readers of all ages. I really hope that William and the Christmasaurus will have more adventures in the future.

The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch is available as a Paperback, eBook and Audio Book on Amazon.co.uk

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Sobeks 2019 – Part 4 | Arkham Reviews

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