Thursday, 16 December 2010

Review: Father Christmas Needs A Wee by Nicholas Allan

"Father Christmas needs a wee.
He's been drinking drinks since half past three . . ."

At each different house that he visits Father Christmas drinks and eats all the goodies left out for him. Before long he really, really, really needs a wee.

I started off December intending to focus on books targeted at younger boys than many of the books that I tend to review are. Things haven't quite worked out as planned due to work and other blogging commitments, but now that school is nearly done I hope to review a few more picture books over the coming week.

Father Christmas Needs A Wee will have three and four year olds giggling away. Let's face it, most boys love toilet humour, whatever their age, and this book really hits the spot for the youngest end of the spectrum. Many children have wondered just how Santa manages to visit so many homes in one night, but how many have asked how he copes with all the fizzy drinks, tea, brandy, and other sundry beverages that are left out for him? Well now we have the answer.

Not only is it funny but it also has an educational element to it in the form of the counting rhymes that makes up the story. First of all we count up with an increasing number of drinks in each house that Santa visits, and then later we count back down again from ten as he goes back to the houses where he forgot to leave presents due to his concentration being distracted by the uncomfortable strain upon his bladder.

I was lucky to receive a special edition of the book which also includes an audio CD, with which we can listen to the story being read by the legend that is Bernard Cribbins. Hearing BC reading a story brought back many fond memories of watching Jackanory when I was a child - this man really knows how to read a story.

I have one small moan from a design point of view - although the illustrations are generally fun and brightly coloured, there are a couple of pages where black text has been used on a dark blue background, making it a little difficult to read easily. This may not be a problem in the home but if this was being bought to read out loud to a class of children, whilst pointing to the words, then they would not be able to make the words out from a distance.

However, I am positive that boys in the 3-4 age group will want to hear this read to them over and over again, and will probably want to join in as they become able to follow words more confidently. Is it very wrong of me to be hoping that there will one day be a sequel called Father Christmas Needs A Poo? :-)

Father Christmas Needs A Wee is published by Red Fox, to whom I am very grateful for the copy of the book that I was sent to review. 

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