Monday, January 19, 2015

Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien | Book Review

Letters from Father Christmas

How am I just now learning about this???  The hubby and I are both huge Tolkien fans (or, we thought we were!) and neither one of us had heard of this book until last week!  I can't remember exactly how I found out about it, but I did, and I immediately requested it from my library.  However, it took too long to reach me at my branch and I ended up driving to another library branch pretty late on Christmas Eve Eve to get a copy.  SO WORTH THE EFFORT.

Letters From Father Christmas is a collection of all the letters that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to his children under the guise of Father Christmas.  For us Americans, this is like a collection of letters from Santa to his kids.  They are so very Tolkien.  The letters are wonderfully imagined and creative, with such a great assortment of characters.  There's Father Christmas, of course, and it turns out he has a helper polar bear and a helper elf who also contribute to the letters.  Father Christmas also writes of parties with snowboys and polar bear cubs, and adventurous battles between himself and goblins.  Nearly every letter is accompanied by a beautiful illustration or two, all done by J.R.R. Tolkien.  

While you will probably find Letters From Father Christmas in your library or bookstore children's section, it is a book that can be enjoyed by all ages.  I took my copy over to my parents-in-law's house on Christmas Day, and my father-in-law was immediately smitten with it.  I've added it to my "Christmas 2015" list to buy for him.  :)  There are also little nuances that adults will pick up on.  For example, in the 1940 letters, Father Christmas mentions that his sleigh is a little lighter, unfortunately, because of all the poor boys and girls displaced from their homes.  He explains that the Tolkien children might not receive so much that year, because there are so many other boys and girls who need more help.  

This book may not be long, but it's so richly illustrated and written in such beautiful language.... you'll want to linger with it.  I definitely recommend this book!

*I checked out my copy of Letters From Father Christmas from my local library, but hope to purchase it for my home in the near future!

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