Book Review: The Dog That Saved Christmas – Nicola Davies

Title: The Dog That Saved Christmas
Author(s): Nicola Davies (Author), Mike Byrne (Illustrator)
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Publication Date: Out now


“For most kids, Christmas is the best time of the year. For Jake, it’s a nightmare. He hates the bright lights, the noise and the way everything around him feels different and strange.

But then Jake meets Susan, a little dog who is lost and scared. Jake takes Susan home and the special bond they share helps him to cope with all the things that usually stress him out.

Maybe there’s a chance that this Christmas will be one that the whole family can enjoy.”


For the most part, those of us who celebrate Christmas find some enjoyment in it (although I know that is not always the case!). The Dog That Saved Christmas is a reminder that we don’t all feel that way. For some, like Jake, it’s a time of stress. The change, the noise, and the lights can get too much and is too far removed from his normal routine.

Most of us are familiar with Christmas tales with happy endings. For Jake, there is a happy ending but it’s also a realistic one. He doesn’t suddenly fall in love with Christmas, nor does he stop feeling stressed by the changes to his environment, but it does get a little easier with some support from a four-legged friend.

What I loved about this book is that this book does not name any sort of condition. Jake is just Jake. I feel that by taking this approach the author is taking welcome steps to normalise conditions such as austism spectrum disorder (just as an example, I am not saying this is the author’s intention behind the character). 

This book is ideal for youngsters who have sensory issues and could relate to Jake but I’d also highly recommend it for anyone, young or old. It serves as a reminder that we all have different perspectives and express ourselves differently – and a little support goes a long way.

Thanks to Barrington Stoke for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The books published by Barrington Stoke have a dyslexia-friendly font and tinted pages to encourage children with dyslexia to read. Their books are intended for anyone and everyone.

You can find Nicola Davies on Twitter.

Order now

If you’re thinking of buying this book as a Christmas present, consider buying directly from Barrington Stoke or from your local bookshop. Independent publishers and bookshops (and their authors!) really need our support so they can keep producing and selling wonderful books such as these.

Christmas tree

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