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The Battle for Christmas - Jeremy Strong

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Author: Jeremy Strong / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 04 September 2008 / Genre: Children's General Fiction / Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd / Title: The Battle for Christmas / ISBN 13: 9780141324630 / ISBN 10: 0141324630

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      17.03.2010 13:13
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      Childrens book by Jeremy Strong

      Ellie is 10 and her brother Max is 6.Ellis has her birthday on Christmas Eve, something she hates as most people give her a joint Christmas and birthday present. When she receives a pair of cosmic pyjamas from her eccentric Aunt Jemima with a note telling her that she mustn't wear the top and bottoms together ,she is intregreged.Ellie decides that she will wear both together as it would be stupid not to!

      As soon as she puts on the pyjamas strange things start to happen! The door of the shop pictured on her pyjamas starts to open and coloured lights start to flash. Ellis runs to find her brother for help and he too gets caught up in the adventure. The children now find themselves inside the Christmas toy shop, pictured on the pyjamas surrounded by toys. The children realize that they too have become small and are the same size as the toys in the shop! However things start to get worse when they realize they are in the middle of a battle between the brave troop of toys and the very scary Christmas fairy and her angels. The children realize that the angels are not holding trumpets, but blowpipes and are armed with such weapons as hundreds and thousands and jelly beans that can be fired from the toy tanks. The dove of peace is not so peaceful in this story either! The Christmas fairy is convinced that the children are mince spies and they find themselves imprisoned in the dreaded cupboard under the stairs with the feared monster! Can the children save Christmas in time?

      This is another wonderful book written by children's author Jeremy Strong. Jeremy Strong was born in1949 and studied English at York University. Following his graduation he worked as a primary school teacher and later as a head teacher. He has two grown up children from his fist marriage. In 2008 he married his second wife and now lives in Bath. He has written numerous children's books including the karate princess; my dads got an alligator and the one hundred mile an hour dog to name a few. All his books are humorous and aimed at primary school aged children.

      The battle for Christmas is probably my favourite book by Jeremy Strong. My son aged 7 says that it is really funny and very exciting too and I would agree! The ideas contained in the story certainly show a wonderful imagination! I love the idea of the Barbie doll commanders, obsessed with fashion and make up! The book will appeal to children of both genders as the author has cleverly included not only dolls and angels in the story, but a dinosaur, tanks and a train set. My son could identify with the sibling rivalry portayed, but also the support the protection the two children give each other. The suggested age range for this book is 7 and upwards. However there are lots of difficult words contained in the text that may need explaining to younger children. It is a book that more confident readers would be able to read alone but again they may need help.

      The book has some very amusing illustrations and our copy has a shiny gold front and is published by Puffin. At 165 pages, this book is great to read in chapters at bedtime. My son actually asked to go to bed whilst we were reading this book! The list price for our paper back version is £4.99 although you can get it for less from Amazon.

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