What We’re Reading Wednesday – A Boy Called Christmas

This week Emma tells us what she’s reading at the moment…

Hooray it’s December! Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year (my tree has been up over a fortnight already) so what better time to be reading the book hailed by Simon Mayo as “a new festive classic.” I’m talking about A Boy Called Christmas, written by Matt Haig, with gorgeous illustrations from Chris Mould. The first thing that struck me about this book was its physical beauty and striking cover design – on the front the main character Nikolas is resplendent in his oversize red coat set against a turquoise background, accompanied by a couple of elves and his mouse friend Miika, whilst on the back cover Nikolas and Blitzen are shown in silhouette from behind trekking through the forest, implying that great adventure lies within. Also, on a very superficial level, I’m a sucker for a bit of sparkle so this book had me at the glitter. All that and the promise of reading “the true story of Father Christmas” left me with no choice – I had to read this book!A Boy Called Christmas 2

I am currently around halfway through and so far the book is definitely living up to its promise. Nikolas is a poor boy from Finland whose father sets off on an expedition to the Far North in search of the village of Elfhelm and the 12,000 rouble reward for anyone that finds proof of it. Left in the ‘care’ of his cruel Aunt Carlotta who declares his father to be a liar, Nikolas decides his only option is to follow in his father’s footsteps and set off on a quest to find Elfhelm himself, accompanied by his pet mouse Miika and the reindeer friend he makes along the way. What follows is a sumptuous tale of adventure, the magic of belief and the conviction that nothing at all is impossible (indeed the very word ‘impossible’ is an elf swear word).

I am absolutely loving this book so far – the story is enchanting and beautifully written and the illustrations complement the writing perfectly. I can’t wait to read more and suspect this is a book I will be re-reading many times in years to come. After all, a Christmas book is for life…


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