On Monday I kicked off the blog tour for The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller. This included a giveaway for a finished copy of the book. Thank you to everybody who shared, liked and commented on either the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter.
Jackson knows all about flying reindeer, he knows about the elves and the secret North Pole workshop, he knows about the elves and the secret North Pole workshop, he knows about the magic that allows Father Christmas to deliver presents around the world in just one night, but there’s one thing he doesn’t know…how did Father Christmas become Father Christmas?
That all changes when, one Christmas Eve, Jackson meets Father Christmas Eve, Jackson meets Father Christmas and hears his incredible story.
So begins an enchanting fairy-tale into a magical snowy landscape, where Torvil, a mean-spirited and miserly elf, is about to discover the true meaning of Christmas. This might not have been the story Jackson was expecting but, as Father Christmas tells him, no good story ever is…
A Christmas classic in the making from actors and comedian Ben Miller that will prove once and for all that Father Christmas really does exist!
Ben Miller is pretty well known. Comedian, actor and now author, he crosses generations with his work. In our house we know him from his time playing DCI Richard Poole in Death in Paradise and more recently as Bough, the hilarious side-kick to Rowen Atkinson’s Johnny English. In my school Library we know him for his books The Aliens Are Coming!: The Exciting and Extraordinary Science Behind Our Search for Life in the Universe and It’s Not Rocket Science,both giving interesting, insightful and enjoyable access to their subject matter. And now he brings us this wonderful festive tale about a young boy named Jackson. Jackson who has had a tiny seed of doubt planted into his mind about Father Christmas. So he comes up with a plan to meet the man himself and ask him a very important question.
I love Christmas. I love the build up, the magic that seems to fill the air and ever since having my son (eleven years ago now), I’ve rediscovered the joy of being a #FatherChristmasBeliever. It’s easy as adults to lose that magic and we can quite often become cynical. So as the big day approaches Christmas stories come pretty close to the top of the list of things that make me happy. Especially Christmas stories that I can share with my son. When writing The Night I Met Father Christmas,Ben took inspiration from some great authors to create a wonderful tale that already feels like a classic. I already read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol every year – I love the language, moral and sheer joy that this tale brings – and I can see The Night I Met Father Christmas being enjoyed for many years to come. So I asked Ben what his favourite Christmas Story is.
‘That one! A Christmas Carol. I am a huge fan of Dickens generally and he has been a huge influence on everything I’ve done. Having English teachers as parents meant I was introduced to him at a very early age and I love his unique and infectious wit and psychedelic warmth. Dickens is the perfect grounding for a career in sketch comedy!’
But how does one go from writing books about science to writing a Christmas story? This is Ben’s first work of fiction and I asked him if any of the characters were based on himself or people he knows.
‘I based Jackson, the main character, on my own son. I did ask if he as OK with that! He said yes — I hope he feels the same when he’s older. Torvil, I think, is basically me.’
So there you have a little more insight into this wonderful story. I’ll be back soon to talk about Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini who has created the beautiful illustrations for Ben’s story and tomorrow I will be hosting the first day of the official blog tour in which I will be running a giveaway to win a copy of the book.
When I was small, one of my friends said something really silly. He said that Father Christmas didn’t exist.’
December is here and it’s time to get Christmassy. The tree has gone up, mulled wine has been consumed and I’m now sitting in a delicious Christmas haze reading The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller. I first read it back in the summer and I loved it then. The second time around is even more delicious, especially now that Christmas is creeping ever closer.
So this is the first in three days of posts about this festive story which will culminate with a special giveaway when I kick off the blog tour on Monday.
Tomorrow I shall be posting a short Q&A with Ben and illustrator Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini plus a little more info on this very special Christmas story.
It was a damp and mild November evening when the Fallows family headed up to London. Nature is giving a wonderful display of autumnal colour; golden brown, fiery reds and burnt orange underfoot with sticky, mushy leaves wet from the rain earlier in the day. This last week we’ve gained an hour and darker evenings for sparkly lights and magical time to curl up with a good book. Winter is well and truly on its way… and with it comes Christmas. The most wonderful time of the year. Never shy of taking an opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit as early as possible, I was delighted to have been invited to join in celebrating the launch of a bright and sparkling new, Christmas story.
Flash back to summer. The days were long, the sun was shining and people were already beginning to panic about ever seeing rain again. I however, was settling down to read my first Christmas book of the year. The Night I met Father Christmas by Ben Miller.
There are so many wonderful children’s authors bringing books to our young readers that will inspire and encourage a life-long love of reading. So when someone we admire for their other work gives us a novel, I always feel a little apprehensive. I expect it to be good enough to share a place on the shelves of those whose main body of work is children’s fiction. Children’s books are important, they matter. As Meg Ryan said in You Got Mail “When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.” With so many other distractions it’s important that we can grab their attention with stories that will fill them with wonder and let them love books rather than see them as a chore and bore.
I very much enjoy watching Ben on the screen. We’re big fans of Death in Paradise in our household and grew to love his grumpy, yet brilliant Inspector Richard Poole and even more recently his role as Angus Bough, the ever patient side-kick to Rowen Atkinson’s, Johnny English. So I was excited to hear that he had written a Christmas story and keen for him to have done it well. It’s encouraging to know that Ben is not new to the written word, he has already published two non-fiction titles, It’s Not Rocket Science and The Aliens Are Coming!: The Exciting Science Behind Our Search For Life in the Universe. The Night I Met Father Christmas is his first fictional title and trust me when I say, it is wonderful and very much deserves its place on any child’s (or adult’s) bookshelf.
It was an absolute treat to attend his launch party and Ben Miller is as funny and warm in the flesh as he comes across on the screen. With a room full of people vying for his attention he took the time to sign copies of his book and my own young Ben was thrilled to meet him (as was I). We also chatted and mingled with some lovely people and was finally able to say hello to some familiar faces including children’s author, Philip Ardagh.
The team at Simon and Schuster did Ben proud and the event was lovely. We had the opportunity to meet the wonderfully talented illustrator Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini, whose stunning illustrations bring the story to life. Simon and Schuster’s design team have produced a stunning book complementing both story and illustrations. It truly is beautiful and will make a wonderful early Christmas present or perhaps be the perfect book to share with your little ones in the run up to the big event itself.
The Night I Met Father Christmasis available to buy now. It is already generating wonderful reviews and much excitement. At the beginning of December I’ll be running a series of festive posts about this delightful book that will culminate with a giveaway on Monday the 3rd as I kick off the blog tour. Do come back and take a look or even better, why not hit the follow button. 🙂