Father Christmas And Me (book 3) by Matt Haig (book review).

‘Father Christmas And Me’ is the third in a series of books that chart the story not only of Father Christmas but also of the girl who saved Christmas.

If you haven’t read the previous two, ‘A Boy Called Christmas’ and ‘The Girl Who Saved Christmas’, you should remedy that at once. Treat yourself or the children in your life to three beautifully presented hardback books with gorgeous illustrations by Chris Mould that firmly fix the characters in your head. These stories take us back, not in a preachy way, to the true meaning of Christmas and the sentiments around it.

Assuming you are up to speed, let us go to Amelia who now lives with Father and Mary Christmas at the North Pole in Elfhelm. She should be very happy. She has a stable family and is surrounded by love. But she is an outsider, so obviously not elf-sized and with none of the skills and qualities they possess. To make it worse, the editor of the new newspaper, Father Vodol, which is being surreptitiously published is writing hateful articles against her. He manages to drum up mistrust and fear of outsiders in the community. Amelia must overcome her own fear as she faces down not only Father Vodol but, even worse, a very disturbed Easter Bunny.

Not only a heart-warming tale about Christmas, ‘Father Christmas And Me’ is an object lesson in tolerance and understanding. This is no soft soap for kids, it has real dilemmas, fear and even self-loathing wrapped up in chocolate coins. It also has a fast plot with lots of fun thing happening which makes it a great book to read out loud to younger children. There are many elements of Christmas included so ingrained in our culture and new fascinating facts including that Father Christmas is paid in chocolate coins, but he takes a very small salary!

I think this series has become an instant classic and, once again, this is the gift of choice for any children you can find-no matter how old. I’ve really enjoyed the three books and they have become part of the Christmas tradition alongside mulled wine and partially eaten carrots. (It’s Rudolph, he never finishes his snacks.)

Sue Davies

November 2017

(pub: Canongate Books/Random House. 304 page hardback. Price: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78689-068-9)

check out website: https://canongate.co.uk/

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