An Interview with Santa Claus by Margaret Mead illustrated by Thomas Nast
Advent Calendar

An Interview with Santa Claus by Margaret Mead illustrated by Thomas Nast

  Following John Updike, another American cultural heavyweight weighs in with a piece of lightweight seasonal musing today, as anthropologist Margaret Mead records an ‘Interview with Santa Claus’ for what was to be her final publication before her death in 1978. ‘Do you have a few minutes for an interview? Children are asking so many … Continue reading

Once in Royal David’s City by Harold Jones and Kathleen Lines
Advent Calendar

Once in Royal David’s City by Harold Jones and Kathleen Lines

I picked up this telling of the Christmas story on the recommendation of Colin West, a brilliant children’s illustrator with exquisite taste to match. Illustrated by the great Harold Jones, a contemporary of Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden, Once in Royal David’s City is the follow up to his most successful work, (also with Kathleen … Continue reading

Winter and the Children by Hilde Hoffman and Beatrice Braun-Fock
Advent Calendar

Winter and the Children by Hilde Hoffman and Beatrice Braun-Fock

Fans of mid century children’s book illustration will find pretty much everything they’re looking for in Winter and the Children. Dapper costumes abound, with children decked in some glorious knitwear, and check out the town mayor dressed to impress in tweed, plus fours and a goatee. There’s an array of different architectural styles on display … Continue reading

The Dolls’ House by Rumer Godden
Advent Calendar / Book of the Smallfilm

The Dolls’ House by Rumer Godden

    ‘On Christmas morning the Plantaganets woke to hear real carol singers in the street outside. “Peace and goodwill among men,” sang the carol singers. “And among dolls,” said Mr Plantaganet. “I hope among dolls.” Unfortunately for Mr Plantaganet, an abused doll with a crudely drawn pencil moustache on his upper lip, things are … Continue reading

Mutants, Mayhem, Mistletoe – 2000AD at Christmastime
Advent Calendar / Comics

Mutants, Mayhem, Mistletoe – 2000AD at Christmastime

Christmas and comic book sci-fi don’t always go together that well. It’s there at the kitschier ends of the genre – ‘Happy Christmas Superdog. And thank you Wonder Woman, you’ve done a neat job turning my Fortress of Solitude into a winter wonderland.’ Or ‘Holy immaculate conception Batman.’ That sort of thing. There’s one notable … Continue reading

Once Upon a Northern Night by Isabelle Arsenault
Advent Calendar

Once Upon a Northern Night by Isabelle Arsenault

In Once Upon a Northern Night the French/ Canadian illustrator Isabelle Arsenault collaborates with writer Jean Pendziwol, who draws on her native Lake Superior and northern Ontario. Arsenault’s style is painterly but with a strong graphic design element that helps create artwork that take your far beyond the world in which they are set. It’s … Continue reading

The Fish in the Bathtub by Eoin Colfer
A-Z of Places / Advent Calendar

The Fish in the Bathtub by Eoin Colfer

W is for Warsaw. ‘Neither Germans nor communists will keep me from a fish steak this Christmas Eve.’ ‘What does German look like?’ Lucja asked. ‘Like a communist’, Grandpa Feliks said crossly. ‘But with better boots.’ If you’re after an original, heartwarming Christmas book without the usual turkey or trimmings, then look no further than … Continue reading

Pippi’s Christmas Guests by Astrid Lindgren and Ingrid Vang Nyman
Advent Calendar / Ingrid Vang Nyman 100

Pippi’s Christmas Guests by Astrid Lindgren and Ingrid Vang Nyman

Nobody does Christmas quite like Pippi Longstocking. Last year the pigtailed pirate’s daughter put on an after christmas party that culminated in the guests climbing the tree to recover their presents. In Pippi’s Christmas Guests, taken from the second volume of comics by Astrid Lindgren and Ingrid Vang Nyman, our hero faces spending December 25th … Continue reading

Appy Christmas
Advent Calendar

Appy Christmas

I wrote a few months ago about some of the groundbreaking children's book apps that are taking the whole reading experience in wonderful new directions. A brief visit to the app store over the weekend provided some great new examples for Christmas. There are countless cheapo retellings of A Christmas Carol and The Night Before … Continue reading