Book Review - The Boy Called Christmas

by Matt Haig (Canongate) ISBN: 978-1-78178211-826-8 

Nikolas tries to be a happy boy even though his mother has died and his father is a poor woodcutter. He was born on Christmas day and the only gifts he had ever received were a wooden sleigh and a doll carved out of turnip. Still Nikolas, who is nicknamed Christmas, tries to be happy. 

That is, until his father decides to go to the North Pole to discover if there are such things as elves and pixies. If he can prove their existence, then he will make a lot of money. Nikolas’s cruel aunt comes to live with him while his dad is away. She is mean and makes Nikolas sleep outside. He decides to go to the North Pole. 

And this is the true story about Father Christmas and how he met Blitzen, the reindeer. It is a story about how they nearly die and a kind elf saves them. There are some sad parts, but mostly, it is happy. The illustrations by Chris Mould are wonderful. 

My only criticism? The story seems to have unnecessary toilet humour with people peeing and reindeers pooping all the time. I am not sure what that has to do with magic and Christmas. Perhaps young readers will understand. 

Ulrike Hill


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