Merry Christmas Gus


It seems that Gus is not inclined to enjoy any part of Christmas. He does not like Christmas carols, Christmas decorations, snow or snow dogs. His cohabiter, introduced in This is Gus, is defeated. After all what can a little dog do if a bigger dog is determined to refuse every festive effort that might be made?

Yet, might Gus show some seasonal spirit after all? Could it be that spending time with the little dog might be enough, because ‘Christmas is about doing things for those you love the most’?

Bookwagon loves Chris Chatterton’s steady pace, sequence, repetition and deft characterisation. We know and understand Gus and infer the relationship he has with the little dog. The beautifully organised pictures tell so much of the story with clarity, humour and dexterity.

Merry Christmas Gus makes us smile and feel Christmas spirit in sausage strings. What a delightful picture book.

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Merry Christmas Gus

Chris Chatterton

(Pan Macmillan)

Merry Christmas Gus are not the words that Gus wants to hear. The grumpiest dog in children’s books returns to add a dampener to the season. It seems that Gus ‘doesn’t like scratchy Christmas jumpers‘ or ‘Christmas decorations’. Thereafter, he doesn’t like ‘Christmas carols’ or ‘when it snows’. What is a little dog to do?
Or is Gus really going to bring his gloomy disposition to a time that’s meant for celebration? Could it be that he understands that ‘Christmas is about doing things for those you love the most‘? Could spending time together help change Gus’s behaviour? After all, he learned to share sausages (sort of) when we met him first, in This is Gus.
Chris Chatterton’s picture book heroes, narrator and Gus, are charming and expressive. It seems that we experience what Gus’s little cohabiter does, through his stoicism and determined aversion to change or excitement.
Thereafter the sequence, repetition, beautiful colouring and pace all hold our interest, imagination and happiness. Merry Christmas Gus, for you star in a picture book that shares such joy and meaning.


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