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 Christmas is 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. 🙂