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Letters from Father Christmas Paperback – 1 Oct 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (1 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007280491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007280490
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘Tolkien at his relaxed and ingenious best’
The Times

From the Back Cover

THE NEW HARDBACK EDITION OF TOLKIEN'S FAMOUS 'FATHER CHRISTMAS LETTERS', INCLUDING PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED EXTRACTS AND PICTURES, PLUS A TWIN CASSETTE READ BY DEREL JACOBI WITH SPECIALLY COMPOSED MUSIC

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from thr North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien's children. Inside would be a letter in a strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful coloured drawing or some sketches. The letters were from Father Christmas.

They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole:how all the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident prone Polar Bear climbed the north Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas's house into the dining room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the man in it fall ino the back garden;how there were wars with the troublesome horde of Goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house!

The tape comprises a festive unabridged reading of the letters. Interspersed with carols and Christmassy music to give a real seasonal feel, Derek Jacobi's reading, with John Moffat and Christian Rodzka in supporting roles as Polar Bear and Ilbereth the Elf, is laced with humour. No reader, young or old, can fail to be charmed by the inventiveness and authenticity of Tokien's 'Letters from Father Christmas'.'

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My mum used to read this to us when we were children - it really added to the magic of Christmas, especially as 'Father Christmas' then used to write notes to us on the back of beautiful postcards.

Tolkien builds a fabulous picture of Father Christmas's world in a way that shows how he understood children so well - of course there has to be a North Pole, and I never forgot the stories of the North Polar Bear climbing up to get Father Christmas's hat back and breaking it because he had been eating rather a lot and was a bit plump! The goblins were a bit scary, the North Polar Bear a bit scatty (one year he went to sleep in the bath and the cellars got flooded ruining all the presents so that year there nearly weren't any presents at all). So beautifully illustrated and magical, my brother and I would beg my mum to re-read the book every year in the lead up to Christmas and when we got our cards from FC it was always a highlight of Christmas morning. My mum never wrote as much as Tolkien or drew pictures, but a few lines in shaky writing thanking us for the sweets we left out and and telling a small story to explain if we hadn't quite got what we'd asked for was part of the magic of Christmas - it stopped us complaining if we got something different and we always treasured the cards - who says everything about Christmas has to be expensive! Every friend of mine gets a copy when they have their first child.
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Feb. 2006
Format: Hardcover
J.R.R. Tolkien was best known for his epic fantasy "Lord of the Rings" and his studies in myth and language. But Tolkien was also the proud dad of four kids -- and he didn't just read "Hobbit" to them at bedtime. Over the course of many years, he wrote and illustrated detailed, whimsical letters from Father Christmas, populated with a clumsy polar bear, elves and goblins.
In these letters, Father Christmas kept the Tolkien children updated with stories about the hijinks at the North Pole -- the slapsticky North Polar Bear and all the things he broke, firework explosions, the discovery of ancient caves full of old cave drawings, and battles with the goblins. (When Father Christmas couldn't write, his Elvish secretary filled in)
When reading these letters, it's hard to imagine any luckier kids in the Christmases of the '20s and '30s. After all, how many children gets detailed letters and pictures from Father Christmas -- complete with special stamps? Tolkien's love for his kids is evident in the care he took to create these letters, and the affection that comes from "Father Christmas" that is written in.
Tolkien's old-school style of writing is a bit formal and very correct, but he tosses in comments of exasperation, amusement, and in the last letter, a sort of sad resignation that children will grow up. Maybe it is because they were given to real children, not intended for publication, that the letters are only a little cutesy, and never cloying.
And of course, Tolkien's detailed, colorful, fantastical, intricate pictures are what make the letters come alive; you can imagine the Tolkien kids eagerly examining the pictures as well as the written words.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a treasure, and I thank the Tolkien Estate, and Tolkien's own family for allowing their personal letters to be shared with the wider public. The illustrations (all by JRR Tolkien himself) are enchanting. Original calligraphy samples are included with full typesets of each letter. Father Christmas' explanations for shortages (during WWII) and other mishaps (the Goblin's invaded) are a wonderful read. His helpers, a Polar Bear and a secretarial Elf, enter the story and never leave, as the saga continues each Christmas. Never mind the kids - buy this one for yourself.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book. The stories of the North Polar Bear are funny and engaging for Children of all ages. The Children in my local library were reading it with obvious delight with lots of "ooooh look at that mummy" "I really like that picture" so I bought a copy and I wholeheartedly agree with them!
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
J.R.R. Tolkien was best known for his epic fantasy "Lord of the Rings" and his studies in myth and language. But Tolkien was also the proud dad of four kids -- and he didn't just read "Hobbit" to them at bedtime. Over the course of many years, he wrote and illustrated detailed, whimsical letters from Father Christmas, populated with a clumsy polar bear, elves and goblins.

In these letters, Father Christmas kept the Tolkien children updated with stories about the hijinks at the North Pole -- the slapsticky North Polar Bear and all the things he broke, firework explosions, the discovery of ancient caves full of old cave drawings, and battles with the goblins. (When Father Christmas couldn't write, his Elvish secretary filled in)

When reading these letters, it's hard to imagine any luckier kids in the Christmases of the '20s and '30s. After all, how many children gets detailed letters and pictures from Father Christmas -- complete with special stamps? Tolkien's love for his kids is evident in the care he took to create these letters, and the affection that comes from "Father Christmas" that is written in.

Tolkien's old-school style of writing is a bit formal and very correct, but he tosses in comments of exasperation, amusement, and in the last letter, a sort of sad resignation that children will grow up. Maybe it is because they were given to real children, not intended for publication, that the letters are only a little cutesy, and never cloying.

And of course, Tolkien's detailed, colorful, fantastical, intricate pictures are what make the letters come alive; you can imagine the Tolkien kids eagerly examining the pictures as well as the written words.
Read more ›
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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