You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas.
Though it may be dreary weather and feeling more like October than chilly December, I may have found the book that will restore even the coldest Christmas heart from Scroogedom and reignite those warm, festive fires within.
Father Christmas, believe it or not, wasn’t always the bushy-bearded, round-bellied, generous and jolly fellow we know and love. There was a time when he was a boy, known simply as Nikolas, living in the forests of Finland with his woodcutter father, Joel. When a hunter comes and offers Joel the chance to make his fortune poor Nikolas is left behind. But his own adventure soon comes a-knocking…
There was nothing about this book that I didn’t like – truly, I had a permanent grin the entire time I was reading it (and I wolfed it down!) Matt Haig has an uncanny ability to effortlessly weave humour, history, tradition and unique ideas together to create an accessible, different and enjoyable treat of a book. The nods and allusions to who Nikolas is going to become were wonderful to find and dissect – naming a reindeer after the local Lake (Lake Blitzen) and having the elves names begin with Mother or Father being just a couple. But this is a far from predictable story for, though the audience already knows the ending, Haig has made the journey spellbindingly delightful for readers of any age.
Despite reading a Kindle version (on which illustrated books never really fare well), I still have to mention Chris Mould’s illustrations. These were pitch perfect in delivery and reflected the quirky humour of Haig’s story immaculately – the icing on top of an already delicious cake indeed!
Matt Haig’s A Boy Called Christmas is being heralded by all and sundry as a modern Christmas classic and after reading it; this book is well worth such an accolade. If you are a person who loves Christmas or you enjoy traditions with a twist or perhaps you love prequels or just reading in general make sure you add A Boy Called Christmas to your bookshelf now – it will be read and reread for many years to come!