Customer Review

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas pudding of a book, a rich mix of delicious morsels....., 24 Oct 2010
This review is from: All About Me (Hardcover)
Opening this book feels as if you are lifting the lid of a dusty treasure trove of Christmas snippets and delving inside to immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas, or settling by the fire for a chat with Father Christmas in a traditional Lapland cabin.
Father Christmas's story of himself is a mixture of memoir and miscellany, looking back on centuries of festive traditions, and key Christmas stories and poems: The Nativity, Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, Clement Clarke Moore's poem The Night before Christmas, for example. And while the feel of this book is Victorian, the text is smack bang up-to-date telling the pulling together references to Father Christmas in books and films from the 17th century until the present day: Father Christmas receives e-mails (which he doesn't print for the sake of the planet) and has a computer database.
It's a plum pudding of a book, a rich mix of delicious morsels, meticulously researched and encyclopadic, stirred into something rather special. So like Lewis Carroll's Snap Dragon Fly which apparently had the body of a plum pudding, Holly leaves for wings and a flaming raisin for is head - it's nutritional in content and yet a flight of fancy you'll want to follow......
Did you know that Christmas was banned in England from 1647-1660 and in America between 1659 and 1681? That Picasso painted a picture of him? Or that in Mexico, the three wise men work together on the gift-giving?
Called Ton Ton Noel in Haiti and Ded Moroz (Grandfather frost) in Russia, his first outfit was blue, that he wore a green cloak in Dicken's A Christmas Carol 1843 where FC appears as the ghost of Christmas Present. With traditional illustrations pulled in from Christmas classics, e.g. Thomas Nast's illustrations for the 1880 Harper's weekly, Father Christmas follows on with the idea handy a harry Potter invisibility cloak would be!
Exploring the many detailed pages, I discovered that Christmas Island is so named because Captain James Cook spent Christmas there in 1777 before discovering Hawaii, and did you know Charles Darwin's ship The Beagle anchored in Patagonia for Christmas 1833,whilst undertaking a Hydrographic survery to map the coastline?
Navigation has changed from latitude and longtitude and the time of Sir Isaac Newton( X=Mas2) now that we have SatNavs, and I love the Ministry of Flight's Sleighway Code, and Father Christmas's speeding ticket, where the speed camera has caught FC's face as he flashed by!
And amongst the real factual information, there are cheeky moments for today's children - a child on Santa's lap who wanted a Wii, for example...
With riddles, recipes, and a sparkling pop-out snowflake, this book is bursting with old-fashioned magic, message of peace, love, hope and goodwill for today's children wherever they live and whatever culture they come from. A cracker!
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4.8 out of 5 stars (13 customer reviews)
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