For the second day of my Trusty Water Advent Calendar, I will be reviewing a lesser known Christmas classic novel. Letters to Father Christmas is a series of letters written by J.R.R. Tolkien (as Father Christmas) to his children. Of course, Tolkien is best known for writing the Lord of the Rings series, which is something that I have, unfortunately, never gotten around to reading (yet). I do know though that he likes to create large worlds with many intricate details to them, and this book is no exception. We learn a little more about Father Christmas’ world with each new letter, but there are never any contradictions or anything and the whole thing is internally coherent, which shows just how much care Tolkien put into these things.
One of my personal favourite things about the book the relationship between Father Christmas and The North Polar Bear, they’d always be getting each other into crazy situations that’re often very funny. Towards the end, some young relations of The North Polar Bear come to stay with them, causing even more mayhem, and at one point you even have a race of malicious goblins that live in a huge cave network underground, which is pretty cool.
But, aside from the letters featuring these lovely stories, Tolkien spent a lot of time on every single letter, they’re all written in a very archaic looking fancy font, which is all jittery when Father Christmas is shivering! If this ever proves to be too difficult for you to read, every letter is typed normally beside the letters, so that won’t be a problem. Every letter is accompanied by at least one beautifully illustrated picture. If the stories themselves don’t get you into the Christmas spirit (which is very unlikely) the colourful hand drawn pictures of the North Pole’s wintery landscape certainly will! They’re all very fantastical images, which also help you to learn about the world of Father Christmas (for example, you get a picture of his house, or pictures of things that’re found painted on cave walls).
So this is a perfect Christmas book for people of any age, and it really is a highly sentimental book. There’s no ending of the story for the characters, it just ends, and that’s when the innocence of childhood was gone from all the Tolkien children… Which is quite sad I think.
An amazing book really, 9/10