Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The best Christmas book ever written...

Yes, even better than The Christmas Book by Enid Blyton, my companion during my 2am wide-awake childhood Christmas moments. Well, I say childhood, but if I am honest, it took until I was 24 and had a baby of my own on the way until I slept for more than about half an hour on the night of the 24th December.

Father Christmas The Truth by Gregor Solotareef is the best Christmas book ever written. It's completely and totally bonkers. I've never quite been able to work out if it's written for adults or children. It was in The Book People catalogue when I was about 12, and my Mum bought it for me as a stocking filler. I loved it then, love it now, and A has been squirelling it in her bed, which suggests that she loves it too.

The text is often amusing, but it's the illustrations that really make this book. Father Christmas is a melancholic figure, who rarely smiles and always has a slightly sardonic look in his eyes. He's a bit like a slightly grumpy history teacher, who has a gruff exterior, but who you know really loves the kids. The elves range from children through to eldery, and it's Father Christmas's job to look after them. However you only glean this through looking at the pictures, as it's an A-Z "reference book", rather than a conventional story.

My two favourite pages are those about "camping" and "Mummy", but there are absolute gems throughout. I won't ruin them though, because they really need to combine with the pictures to make sense as a unit, just as all the best picture books do.

Erm, it's out of print - sorry. There are several available second-hand on Amazon though for only a few measly English pounds.

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