I enjoy good stories. Give me adventure. Give me a quest, a journey into the unknown. Give me magic. Make me laugh. A Boy Called Christmas does all these and more. Matt Haig introduces us to an eleven-year-old boy named Nikolas who lives in the second-smallest cottage in all of Finland with his father, a woodcutter; a mouse; and a doll carved out of an old turnip. After his father fails to return from an expedition north to find proof of the existence of elves, Nikolas’s embarks on his own journey to find him. Throughout the story the narrator offers humorous asides, and Nikolas’s adventures are quite humorous as well.
I realize the intended audience is children between 8 and 12, but my kindergartener can follow along well, and my adult self enjoyed it immensely. In spite of the overall jovial tone of the book, there are a few moments of danger and even death that may upset younger readers, but I don’t have any reservations about sharing it with my daughter.
Because my daily commute offers me a good hour or so to listen to audiobooks, I enjoyed Nikolas’s story on CD. The narration by Stephen Fry (a British comedian famous for his skits with Hugh Laurie and appearances on Blackadder) is superb. I highly recommend it.
I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of review.