From the bestselling author of A Boy Called Christmas comes a hilarious and heartwarming holiday tale for fans of Roald Dahl and Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol that imagines the story of the first child to ever receive a Christmas present.
“Matt Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories.” —Neil Gaiman, Newbery-winning author of The Graveyard Book
Amelia Wishart was the first child ever to receive a Christmas present. It was her Christmas spirit that gave Santa the extra boost of magic he needed to make his first trip around the world. But now Amelia is in trouble.
When her mother falls ill, she is sent to the workhouse to toil under cruel Mr. Creeper. For a whole year, Amelia scrubs the floors and eats watery gruel, without a whiff of kindness to keep her going. It’s not long before her hope begins to drain away.
Meanwhile, up at the North Pole, magic levels dip dangerously low as Christmas approaches, and Santa knows that something is gravely wrong. With the help of his trusty reindeer, a curious cat, and Charles Dickens, he sets out to find Amelia, the only girl who might be able to save Christmas. But first Amelia must learn to believe again. . . .
This was an adorable book and perfect for families to read during the holidays.
There will be many things children and adults will find familiar such as elves, the North Pole, a Scrooge-like character, the act of hope powering the magic of Christmas and of course Father Christmas himself.
A follow up to Matt Haig’s other book, A Boy Called Christmas which gave the origins for how Father Christmas came to be, this provides a beautiful continuity to his story. The illustrations that accompany his magical plot are absolutely delightful as the story comes alive before your eyes. It’s the kind of book that could, and should, easily be made into a heartwarming Holiday movie.
Perfect for the young and young at heart we’re treated to a story that grabs at the heartstrings as young Amelia who has always been full of hope and optimism must navigate her first Christmas as an orphan. Haig does a great job of taking themes we’ve seen before in holiday tales and wiping the dust off to create something new you’ll want to read with your kids.
Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Children’s for allowing me to review this book.
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*synopsis and pic from netgalley.com