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Rover Saves Christmas

Written by Roddy Doyle

Illustrated by Brian Ajhar

Roddy Doyle saves Christmas from taking itself too seriously. 

Is this a story of some heroic figure stepping in to help a desperate Santa Claus? Well, yes, sort of (Rudolph’s called in sick for his one day of work a year, and Rover the dog from The Giggler Treatment the one who perfected the “poo for cash” scheme - becomes a reluctant substitute.)

Do the Mack children play a part? Yes indeed, everyone from Robbie and Jimmy to baby Kayla and her best friend Victoria comes along to help deliver the presents.

Are there obstacles along the way? You bet - for instance the flock of belligerent boorakooka birds, toting plastic machine guns over the rooftops of Australia. But they got by that one with Santa’s help.

Sounds like a lot of spoofing going on. What else gets spoofed? Everything from Christmas commercials, to Christmas books, to James Joyce!

Are there any Gigglers? Any poo? No and No. But don’t worry, it’s very, very funny.

What role do the lizards Hans and Heidi play? Ah…for THAT you’ll have to read the book!


Robbie and Jimmy had been extra-specially good for the last few weeks. For example, they had helped their Granda find his false teeth. They were super-glued to the roof of his car. (Jimmy and Robbie had glued the teeth to the roof but it is much more important to know that they had helped poor old Granda to find them. And, by the way, they got the teeth off the roof with a can opener.) They’d spent all their pocket-money on presents for the people they loved – a Banjo-Kazooie for their mother, a new uniform for Granny’s Action Man, a special scissors for their father for cutting the horrible big hairs that grew out of his ears and nose, a t-shirt with “Barney Smokes Big Fat Cigars” on it for their baby sister, and a brand-new can opener for Granda. (The old one was stuck in the roof of his car.) 

Reviews and Awards

Children’s Book Sense 76 Recommendation

“A tickle-me-funny tale that not only speaks but screams to young readers, engaging their attention every step of the way.” - Associated Press

“Fans of Dav Pilkey, Jon Scieszka, and Lemony Snicket will appreciate this zany, irreverent story… Don't expect a straightforward, traditional, linear narrative. The wordplay and the gags are the important things here. Even the glossary of Irish expressions is part of the fun.” - School Library Journal

“The cast of The Giggler Treatment makes a return engagement for the holidays in this invitingly loopy escapade… Ajhar's frisky drawings add to the mayhem.” - Publishers Weekly

Purchase Options
Amazon • Barnes & Noble

Fall 2001
Middle Grade Novel
ISBN: 0-439-30530-6
Price: $14.95/$21.99
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
Page Count: 160
Foreign Rights: Public Communications Center
Translation Rights: Scholastic
Rights Available? yes

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