If you are searching for a story to explain Father Christmas, the reindeer, the elves and hewlip plants, then this is the book for you! Matt Haig has crafted a fantasy story, along the lines of Roald Dahl, to keep young readers captivated. The illustrations are simple and clever. On the front cover of the book we have “The Daily Snow: every elf’s favourite newspaper” where Father Christmas talks about his long journey towards joy.
The story begins with a young boy called Nicholas, who lives in great poverty with his father. The only food they eat is what he can find under the snow. His mother died, but not before she gave him a gift of a beautiful turnip doll, which Nicholas treasures. One day a man came to their door and offered his father money to go with a hunting party and search for some proof that elves live in the region.
“ Elfhelm”, is the Elf village which has never been discovered, and the king wishes to know once and for all if it does exist. Nicholas’s father will be gone for two months, but has arranged for the hateful Aunt Carlotta to look after the boy; her nastiness increases until Nicholas runs away to try to find his father.
This is where the real adventure begins. Nicholas discovers, in fact, was saved by the elves; he meets a truth fairy, and is nearly eaten by a confused troll. The story line is lightened by humour. The truth fairy can’t help but tell the truth, and one of the cranky reindeer peed on someone’s long johns, while the wicked Aunt Carlotta had a large reindeer poo land on her head.
Competent readers looking for a Christmas story will enjoy the fantasy aspect of this tale. Younger readers will enjoy listening to the language, elf names, spells, and curious characters. The reiterated theme is that you must believe in magic, and here it is shown with the true story of Father Christmas.
|Author||Matt Haig, illustrated by Chris Mould|
|Distributor||Allen & Unwin|