A Boy Called Christmas

illus. by Chris Mould. 240p. Knopf. Nov. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399552656; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780399552670.
Gr 3–6—This lively British import recounts the adventures of young Nicholas, who will grow up to become Father Christmas, otherwise known as Santa Claus to American children. Born on Christmas Day, Nicholas leads a life of hardship in a remote, ramshackle cabin with his good-hearted father. When his father goes in search of Elfhelm (and a chance at a great monetary reward), Nicholas is left alone with his cruel aunt Carlotta. After enduring abuse and neglect, the boy sets off on his own to find his father and the mythical land of the elves. The fairy-tale atmosphere aptly sets the stage for magic and mischief, including flying reindeer, exploding trolls, a truth pixie, and a trusty mouse companion. Nicholas eventually changes the course of Elfhelm history, saving it from a regime of unhappiness, and ultimately discovers his true calling as a giver of gifts. Mould's quirky yet charming black-and-white drawings are a perfect complement to the sometimes snarky text.
VERDICT There's plenty to please fans of Roald Dahl, Lemony Snicket, and Adam Gidwitz: offbeat humor with the ultimate satisfaction of overcoming the impossible, helping humanity, and achieving one's dreams. A popular choice for Christmas or year round.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing