There are so many wonderful Christmas stories and books for children, it's almost impossible to choose just one or two favourites. I've been browsing the Christmas books for children display in the local book shop, and it was laden with the classic stories as well as novelty books based on the TV characters (Peppa Pig anyone?). Yet the book I wanted to mention today is not that well-advertised or listed in the Top Christmas Book Choices for kids. Which is a total shame, if you ask me, because this is the most brilliant book.
Sven Nordqvist has written a series of books about the old man Pettson and his talking cat Findus. We are very fond of this charming duet, and have almost all of the books (all but one, as I've discovered recently).
Sven Nordqvist is extremely popular in Sweden and around the world, he is a fabulous storyteller and illustrator.
If you don't trust my opinion, read what Philip Pullman said about him: "The stories are ingenious, the characters are quirky and original, and the illustrations are absolutely delightful. I can't recommend them highly enough".
In the times when anything goes into the childrens' books, from scatological jokes to f-word, and the plots are barely intelligent, you treasure books which count as good literature.
We have read Findus and Pettson books from Hawthorn Press many times, and I never get bored with reading them aloud to my son, and he doesn't get bored with listening to the stories. We absolutely love the illustrations. The attention to detail is amazing. And the main protagonists are endearing. They are truly our long lost family. If we could, we'd adopt them.
Findus at Christmas will make a fabulous Christmas gift for any child. Or an adult who collects books with beautiful illustrations.
The story is warm, and is just what the Christmas story should be. It's all about kindness and good will. I'm not going to retell the story, so as not to spoil the surprise. But you really must discover it for yourselves.
If you like the sound of this book, have a look at my review of Pancakes for Findus, which is another brilliant book in the series.