published by Puffin in 1973
Irreverent and darkly humorous- I adore this classic comic book style Picture Book/Graphic Christmas book. Raymond Brigg’s Santa Claus- is a grumpy grumbling old man….who glugs his cup of tea and scoffs thickly buttered sandwiches…he’s decidedly British…and I find him utterly charming~
School age children will be enthralled by this “vintage” Christmas classic…It is now over 40 years old!
Santa is disappointed to realise that yet again- he must set to work and deliver a mammoth amount of presents in one evening to children all around the World.
He mutters and splutters as he squashes himself up and down chimneys…lugging his heavy sack full of gifts.
The book finishes- with all his work complete…Santa finally gets a well deserved rest! Perhaps until next year….
Winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal
The Christmas Orange
by Don Gillmor and Marie Louise Gay
published by Stoddart Kids in 1998
I was not familiar with this picture book- but was delighted to come across it…I found it VERY funny…and the perfect tale to share with a child who has an exceedingly long Christmas wish list. This book serves as a wonderful reminder to caution children from veering towards excessive greediness.
Anton Stingley was born on December 25th- he feels hard done by that his birthday coincides with Christmas and is convinced that he is not given enough attention to make him feel celebrated.
Anton Stingley’s birthday was December 25th – Christmas Day. When he was very young, he thought the whole town was celebrating his birthday. Naturally, he thought he was pretty special.
When he found out everyone was really celebrating Christmas, he didn’t feel special at all.
So his parents bought him extra, extra presents each year, presents for his birthday and presents for Christmas.
Anton had a round head and more toys than anyone.
What follows is a surprising tale of how Anton- hires a lawyer- Mr. Wiley Studpustle- to take Santa Claus to court. The case is based around a misunderstanding when Anton sits upon Father Christmas’ knee and requests a long list of toys and games he would like to receive…. Anton claims that he did not get what he requested- he even presents a copy of his original request (his Christmas letter) to the court.
Poor Father Christmas must go to trial. And he must endure harsh cross examination.
Santa turned to face the people in court. “You’re unhappy that I didn’t bring Anton Stingley what he wanted for Christmas. You’re unhappy that I don’t always bring you what you want. Well,” he said. “It isn’t my job to bring you what you want.”
The crowd was shocked. There were cries of protest.
“My job.” Santa continued, “is to bring you what you need.”
This is a Santa Claus- you have never seen before…. I LOVED this Santa- a pere Noel who always looks after my best interests…how wonderful and reassuring. This is truly the way I wish I had believed and trusted in my Santa…instead of the horrible nagging feeling of disappointment and not getting every last thing I wanted, a distressing feeling which marred many of my Christmases as child . This book speaks loudly to the human pangs of neediness and yearnings for things which we don’t necessarily need. One of my most highly coveted prayers for my children, is that they will desire less and be satisfied with what they have, and most importantly that they are grateful for the many things with which we are blessed.
This is a very enjoyable Christmas Story.