Cornerstones Book Club – review of A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig and Chris Mould

Another week, another book review! The latest title reviewed for the Cornerstones Book Club is A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig and Chris Mould – a wonderful festive treat suitable for children of all ages in Key Stage 2.

waterstones doncaster

Leilah Skelton, Senior Bookseller.

Here's what Waterstones bookseller Leilah Skelton, has to say about it…

Christmas spirit, bound up in book form

Did you ever wonder what Father Christmas was like as a boy? Matt Haig’s son did and in doing so he inspired a Christmas story that’s going to revive the magic of the season for a whole new generation of children. As far as Christmas presents go, that’s a pretty fantastic gift. (Thank you, Lucas!)

You’ll find it shelved amongst the books aimed at seven year olds through to pre-teen but this book is definitely for ‘kids’ in the Nat King Cole sense of the word. As a bookseller, I’ll be putting this in the hands of kids aged 92, as well.

Before the beard and the belly, there was a poor, skinny 11-year-old boy called Nikolas. He endured awful hardship but was a boy with tremendous fortitude, an empathetic heart and a skill for seeing the goodness in a bleak world, all things that actually came in handy the time he journeyed far north to Elfhelm in search of his father…

There is gloom here, yes, but it’s beautifully balanced with sleigh-loads of humour, adventure and the sparkling light of Christmas magic.

Amongst the elves, trolls, pixies and flying reindeer, there are a whole host of Santa ‘firsts’, too – the very first “Ho, ho, ho!” is documented, as is the first chimney travel (which may or may not have some association with troll brains and incarceration, though you’ll have to read the book to be sure, of course).

A special huge thumbs up must go to illustrator Chris Mould too. Like Quentin Blake to Roald Dahl, he has proved himself to be the perfect tonal match for Matt Haig’s words. The illustrations throughout the book support the story perfectly and provide a magic all of their own.

A Boy Called Christmas feels like a collaboration that will restore faith in the pure altruistic core of the season and prove that what we give with our hearts, and our tolerance and kindness, we will receive in return.

Five huge stars, an eggnog, a satsuma for a snowman’s nose, and a stocking-full of praise for this future classic. Don’t miss it!

Cornerstones Book Club

Cornerstones Book Club is all about promoting and providing the very best children’s books. As part of that, we’ve curated a range of book packs in partnership with Waterstones that are designed to save you time while making sure the best children’s literature is at the heart of the curriculum.

And with so many amazing children’s books to choose from, it’s our aim to bring you the latest news from the world of publishing, as well as reviews of all the latest releases.

Check back next week for our latest book review.

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Kathryn Farr - Marketing Assistant

Kathryn is the Marketing Assistant here at Cornerstones, where her role involves updating the blog on the Cornerstones website and looking after Cornerstones' various social media channels.

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