I hadn’t heard of this book until I saw the film advertised on Sky, however, when I found out it was written my Matt Haig I was very intrigued. I wasn’t sure how the author or The Midnight Library could have written a children’s book. But it’s genuinely magical.
It tells the tale of Nikolas; nicknamed Christmas because his birthday is the 25th December. He’s a regular boy from Finland who’s parents struggle to make ends meet, however, after her mother is killed by a bear his father struggles even more. When he is offered an opportunity to make some money by travelling north to prove the existence of elves he can’t say no. He arranged for Nikolas’ Aunt Carlotta to take care of him whilst he’s on his journey but abuse and neglect lead him to head to the North himself to find his father and the elves.
I’d be curious to hear a child’s perspective on this book because it really is quite bleak at times; he’s starving, exhausted and his shoes are falling away from his blistered feet. But then it still hold that magic we associate with ChristMas with elves and flying reindeer. Despite it being marketed as a children’s book I’m just not totally sure it really is.
I did enjoy it though. And to me the bleak life he lived makes it more magical that he was so inherently good and kind. I’m definitely going to try to find some time to watch the film before Christmas!