Tuesday 17 November 2020

Santa Goes On Strike by Jem Vanston. Children's Rhyming Picture Story Book Review (sent for review)

I've got a Christmassy book review today,  Santa Goes On Strike, which has been sent to us from the author Jem Vanston for review. Especially suitable for reading together, this is a rhyming book based on a poem which the author wrote several years ago... 

Santa Goes On Strike Rhyming Picture Book Review by Jem Vanston

Santa is beginning to get demoralised. He's fed up of delivering shiny new devices and modern toys that'll just be played with for 10 minutes and thrown into a corner. He is sad that we don't seem to realise our loved ones are the most important thing about Christmas, not all of the presents. (I think this year we'll all appreciate that one!) 

Santa decides he doesn't want to do it, and goes to bed. I think most adults at least know what it's like to just want to go to bed and forget about the world. Who can blame him really? Christmas can be hard work, especially for Santa. 

Christmas eve story book for children review Jem Vanston

There are no gifts on Christmas morning, but it doesn't spoil Christmas. Everyone appreciates what they have. Santa sees this, and it lifts his spirits. He decides that he will still deliver the presents in the few hours of Christmas night that he has left. 

The illustrations by Jay Rixon are clear and bold, and the reindeer have great expressions. Santa could maybe be a little less stern looking. This is a picture book, and every page is fully illustrated. The poem has a great tempo and I love some of the little comment 'asides' and colloquialisms "they all got nowt". 

inside page illustration with Santa and reindeer

It's a good poem. I can see why the author has a tradition of reading it on Christmas Eve, and it makes a great addition to the Christmas Eve story box or Book Advent. The message is clear, and I do think it's going to be especially pertinent, and possibly a little tear-inducing, in 2020. 

Santa Goes On Strike is suitable for reading together with children aged around 2+, and for independent reading from around 6 (or younger if they learn the words and use the rhymes as cues). 

Santa Goes On Strike is written by Jem Vanston, illustrated by Jay Rixon and published by Rowanvale Books. Paperback, 32 colour pages, available to buy now priced £7.99rrp, including online at Amazon. Affiliate link below: 

We were sent our copy of Santa Goes On Strike by Jem Vanston for review. Amazon links are affiliate, which means I earn a few pence as a thank you for my time if you order through my link, but you don't pay any extra.


  1. ooh this sounds like a fun book. A great one for book advent. Love it x

    1. It is perfect for a book advent - I can't wait for grandchildren :D


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