Dogger’s Christmas is a seasonal sequel to Dogger which was published over forty years ago. Dave, his soft toy, Dogger, big sister, Bella and little brother, Joe are preparing for a traditional British family Christmas and the book oozes festive kindness, warmth, love and family support.
The Story: Christmas is coming and Dave and Bella help Mum and Dad decorate the Christmas tree, write Christmas lists and go Christmas shopping. They celebrate Christmas Day with their grandparents and are very tired by the evening. When Dave wakes up during the night Dogger isn’t in his bed. Despite frantically searching for a few days Dogger is nowhere to be found. But then Bella has a clever idea…
Dave forgets to hang a stocking up for Dogger and in all the excitement of Christmas Day, presents and new toys Dogger is ignored throughout the day. When Dave finally realises that his special friend is missing it makes him even more sad that Dogger hasn’t had a happy Christmas. Dave’s misery pervades the house as the family cleans up after Christmas and searches for Dogger. But then quick thinking Bella saves the day!
Anybody who has a special friend like Dogger will understand and sympathise with the anguish that Dave feels when he can’t be found. Dave’s sadness is also compounded by the fact that he forgot about Dogger in all the excitement of Christmas Day and his new toys.
Shirley’s illustrations retain the atmosphere and charm of the original Dogger that we know and love, there is so much wonderful festive detail in the illustrations. The story is set in modern times and although there is no sign of a mobile phone the family do have a dishwasher and the refuse collectors and their van will be familiar to today’s children.
Dave and Bella are a little older and their Christmas lists include items like trainers and a book about wild animals. Although they are not as interested in soft toys as they were in Dogger, we love the way that Bella lies in bed with all her soft toys and Dogger is snuggled up in bed with Dave.
The images of extended family enjoying time together in Dogger’s Christmas are particularly poignant this year as many of us will not being seeing grandparents or hugging relatives and usual traditions must be forgone – maybe reading Dogger’s Christmas will start a new family Christmas tradition 🙂
The text on the book’s jacket is embossed with shiny gold lettering, it looks really festive with the holly and mistletoe garland. We always look under the jacket flap and it was such a wonderful surprise to find a drawing of Dogger on a bright red background – this truly is a very special book for fans of Dogger.
Age Range: 3 +
Author / Illustrator: Shirley Hughes