The Story: On Christmas Eve, Father Christmas goes off on his rounds while Mother Christmas stays at home to look after Baby Christmas. Baby Christmas wants to play at being his dad, so Mother Christmas puts him his baby sleigh pulled by little reindeer Rudolf Junior. She even gives him a few presents to pretend to deliver. But Rudolf’s nose starts to glow – which means he is now old enough to fly! Soon Baby Christmas and Rudolf Jr. are off on an round-the-world adventure of their own – pursued by a frantic Father and Mother Christmas.
Why is this your favourite Christmas book?
There are so many charming wintry/Christmassy books, from Michael Foreman’s The Little Reindeer, Toby Forward and Ruth Brown’s The Christmas Mouse, and Hiawyn Oram and Tony Ross’s A Message for Santa; to Raymond Briggs’ delightfully homely and curmudgeonly Father Christmas. My own children loved Michael Lawrence’s story because of the idea that FC has not only a partner but a child, whose best friend is the baby reindeer Rudolf Junior.
Can you describe a favourite illustration or give a favourite quote from the story and tell us why you chose it?
The book is joyously written, and full of playful alliteration and poetic rhythms for the reader-aloud to get their teeth into.
‘Where could he be? Where could he be? Where could he be?’
‘Rudolf Junior landed on a roof. But his hooves slipped and slithered and skidded and skaddled, and…
…into the chimney went Baby Christmas!
Down through the tumbly dark he fell,
“WUP!” Said Baby Christmas, kerplunking in the hearth.’
‘A bubbly little sound. A tinselly little sound. A very Christmassy little sound. Baby Christmas laughing!’
Author: Michael Lawrence / Illustrator: Arthur Robins
Peter Bently is the prizewinning author of many picture books, including The Great Dog Bottom Swap, King Jack and the Dragon, and Cats Ahoy! (which won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2011) as well the Vampire School and Knightmare! series of young fiction. He lives in Totnes, Devon, with his wife Lucy and two children Theo and Tara.
My most recent titles include Captain Jack and the Pirates illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
The Prince and the Porker illustrated by David Roberts
The Tooth Fairy’s Christmas illustrated by Garry Parsons
Which book is on your Christmas wishlist this year?
Landmarks, by Robert MacFarlane
Story Snug’s 2015 Advent Calendar on Pinterest