Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Booky Advent Calendar - CHRISTMAS EVE! - "Father Christmas Goes on Holiday" by Raymond Briggs (Picture Puffin)

Father Christmas Goes on Holiday

Written and Illustrated by
Raymond Briggs

Published by Picture Puffin

Our final Booky Advent Calendar entry (final because you'll hopefully be FAR too busy tomorrow to read our blog, right?) is an absolute christmas cracker, featuring our all-time favourite book portrayal of Father Christmas.

It's still impossible not to read this in the late great dear departed voice of Mel Smith - as he did the voices in the sublime animated version of this and "Father Christmas" by Raymond Briggs.

We do absolutely love both but this was the one that entertained Charlotte the most, simply because you see Santa as he is for the rest of the year. Santa plans his summer holidays more or less as soon as the last present is dropped off. Sitting at his kitchen table drinking hot cocoa and fending off the sniffles, Santa decides on a grand tour to take in all the sights and sounds all over the world that he usually only gets to see in passing.

Briggs' portrayal of Santa is as a slightly curmudgeonly fuzzy old grumpus, but with a certain joie de vivre and willing to try anything once. He's the epitome of "Brits Abroad" - clad in his handkerchief hat, no suntan lotion but still baking in the hot midday sun.

Santa's holiday adventures are hilarious - and in this largely wordless book the dialogue is purposely kept sparse so you can be entertained thoroughly by Briggs' amazing visual style - still as fantastic now as it was when it was created almost 30 years ago.

An utterly brilliant book to round off our series of Christmas recommendations. From all of us at ReadItDaddy - from me, Ali and Charlotte we wish you a Merry Booky Christmas and a Story-Filled New Year!

Charlotte's best bit: Santa's terrible case of tummy trouble, brought on by one too many fancy French dishes

Daddy's Favourite bit: Love love love this, so much fun to read aloud (in a really bad impression of Mel Smith's sublime mockney accent). Fun to find out what happens when Santa lets his hair (and his beard) down!