Posted in discussion, review

Is The Creakers Musical Edition Worth It?

Following the success of The Christmasaurus Musical Edition, of which my review can found here, Tom Fletcher continues this new tradition of pairing music and his children’s fiction with the creation of The Creakers Musical Edition. 

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The children of Whiffington wake up one day to find that all of the adults have disappeared. While they take this wonderful opportunity to run rampant, no longer confined by rules, eventually the novelty wears off. The protagonist, Lucy, is determined to find out what happened to all the parents and her investigation leads to the discovery of a ghastly world under her bed belonging to monsters called “the creakers.”

The book comes in with a CD which is stuck on the other side of the front cover’s hole (don’t worry, removing it for use doesn’t’ affect the visual of the cover as there’s an inside page which fills in the gap with the same image!). You simply puts this CD into whatever device they wish to use and begins to read. As you travel through the story, little prompts appear at the side of the page which indicate when it’s time to play one of ten tracks.

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The format itself is quite simply brilliant because it combines the two things Tom Fletcher is really good at: writing and music. For existing readers, it’s a way to reread with an additional element breathing new life into the story. For new readers, it’s a way to enjoy the book in an elevated way.

Initially, it can feel like ten songs is a bit excessive but the gaps between them are just big enough that you get invested in the characters on their own and when a musical number rolls around it’s a exciting surprise.

So, is The Creakers Musical Edition worth it? Absolutely. It’s such a unique experience that both adults and children can enjoy together. However, I do prefer The Christmasaurus Musical Edition but this is purely down to the fact that I get more excited about the prospect of christmas than the prospect of monsters hiding under my bed.

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Posted in children's fiction

Is The Christmasaurus: Musical Edition Worth It?

“I think books and music are very special. Books require a reader to use their imagination to bring the words to life, and music can affect your emotions like nothing else in the universe.”

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Last year, Tom Fletcher released his first full length children’s novel titled The Christmasaurus and it didn’t take long for it to jump onto my list of favourite books of the year. You can find my full review here.

For those who don’t know, The Christmasaurus  follows a boy called William Trundle who wants nothing more than a dinosaur for Christmas, and it just so happens that the elves have dug up a dinosaur egg at the North Pole. A series events leads to a magical Christmas Eve adventure. It was beautiful, funny, heart-warning and of course very festive. It was announced shortly after the release that The Christmasaurus would be transforming into a London-centric stage show for Christmas 2017 and as someone who lives at the other end of the country, I was disheartened. Until Tom Fletcher revealed earlier this year that the festive dinosaur would be returning in book form… with added music.

In terms of the aesthetic, the jacket designs are different, the embossing on the actual book binding is different and the end pages are also different. In terms of the content, the story is exactly the same.  However, the musical edition comes with a new introduction explaining Tom’s reasoning for the rerelease, a CD featuring 14 tracks and the song lyrics listed as a glossary at the back of the book.

The way to utilise the CD is simple: as the reader makes their way through the story, every so often there are little prompts in the margin indicating what song to play. The songs originate from Tom’s original writing process for the book in which he wrote a few songs to get into the true spirit of the stories and the minds of the characters. The songs are there simply to accompany and enhance the story.

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I wasn’t sure exactly how the execution of this would work as it’s something I’ve never seen done before. I didn’t need to worry because it is absolutely genius.

The combination of story and music really allows your imagination to run away with itself in new, magical and exciting ways. I found myself grinning when I reached a new prompt and got to listen to a new track – I will admit that sometimes I got distracted and listened to certain songs at least three times in a row before returning to the story. I was able to sit back and imagine new scenes while listening to the songs.

If you’re looking for something fun and festive to devour over Christmas, but will also leave you singing and dancing with a book in your hands, then I highly suggest you pick yourself up a copy.

I challenge you to not be excited for Christmas after going on an adventure with The Christmasaurus: Musical Edition