Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

The Night I Met Father Christmas

by
,

The Night I Met Father Christmas Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 18
18 Reviews
Write a Review

'A gorgeous tale brimming with the magic of Christmas. A sheer delight for all kids both big AND small.' Ruth Jones, award-winning writer and comedian
'Enchanting, funny and intriguing in equal measure' Philip Ardagh, bestselling author
'You can always tell when a children's book has been written by a brilliant father because there's a particular intimacy, warmth and mischievous humour that bubbles through it ... irresistible' Alexander Armstrong, presenter, comedian and writer


Jackson knows all about the flying reindeer, 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 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...

Get ready for a Christmas classic in the making from actor and comedian Ben Miller with beautiful illustrations throughout from emerging talent Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini , that will remind everyone of the true spirit of Christmas and prove once and for all that Father Christmas really does exist!

The Night I Met Father Christmas Reviews | Toppsta

9781471171536

Share on

Featured Book
Book pages The Good Thieves
The Good Thieves

Bestselling and award-winning author, Katherine Rundell, returns with a brilliant new story packed with adventure and excitement, recommended for ages 9+

View book
Featured Book
Book pages Cinders and Sparks: Magic at Midnight
Cinders and Sparks: Magic at Midnight

Perfect for readers of 7+, Cinders & Sparks is a fresh, funny and fabulous take on Cinderella, for everyone who loved Frozen and Shrek.

View book

First Line

"When I was small, one of my friends said something really silly. He said that Father Christmas didn't exist."

Media & Blog Reviews

  • "A gorgeous tale brimming with the magic of Christmas. A sheer delight for all kids both big AND small." (Ruth Jones, award-winning writer and comedian).
  • "Apparently there's a rumour going round that Father Christmas isn't real; I can only hope (this book) silences the doubters." (Author Ben Miller)

Sign up to our newsletter for...

Free Book Giveaways, Recommendations & more

3rd January '19
I read it myself (an adult)
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
5 stars
This story is a delight that I really enjoyed as an adult but also am sure that children would enjoy too, especially those aged 7+.

The  story begins when Jackson scares Father Christmas, meaning he hurts his ankle and is unable to deliver the presents alone. Luckily Jackson offers to help and in return Father Christmas tells him a story which can easily be seen to have connections to Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol but Scrooge is replaced with Torvil, a mean spirited elf who is obsessed with money and as a consequence has no friends to enjoy the festive period with.  The Night I Met Father Christmas follows the same story as Torvil is taken to the past to be reminded of his promises as an orphan and to get a different perspective of things that he holds a grudge against. Then he visits the elf who works in his shop in the present and sees how him and his family are struggling due to the demands Torvil makes. Finally he is shown what his future will be like should he continue in this manner.

The Night I Met Father Christmas is a beautiful book to remind one about the true meaning of Christmas. The front cover gives a nod to the magic that is within and if you even flick through the book before reading you see the beautiful full page illustrations which transport you back to the time this book is set.
16th November '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
5 stars
Pure festive magic! A real feel good festive read.
I read it first and was. It disappointed! I can wait to share it with my young ones on the lead up to the big guys visit down our chimney!
17th October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
5 stars
i read this book myself as I wanted to check the content before my girls read it especially my 9 year old. this story is magical and you do not want to put it down. I really enjoyed it and the kids are now arguing over which order they read it in. it is a lovely story that I think children aged 5 plus would be able to enjoy, I cant wait till the run up to Christmas to share this with my 6 year old...if we ever get it back from the girls 
25th December '18
I read it to rsa aged 8 aged 8
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
5 stars
Son: I liked this story. It is a good book for Christmas. It reminds me of Christmas Carol. Torvil, the elf, is a bit like Scrooge. I thought Rudolph the reindeer was funny, especially when he lands on the elf.

Mum: A lovely book to read around Christmas time. Just mananaged to read it for Christmas Day.    Very sweet ending with Jackson, the boy at the beginning of the book, having realised the true nature and magic of Christmas.
10th October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
5 stars
I read this book to myself as I would like to keep it until nearer Christmas to read with Neve as our Christmas book. But wow, what a truly delightful story this is, if you need something to get your little ones(or even yourself) into the festive mood grab this book and a blanket, snuggle down and be lost in a tale of how Father Christmas came to be.     Like most children of a certain age the doubts of Father Christmas being real has crept in for Jackson so he makes it his mission to stay awake on Christmas Eve in order to meet the man himself and discover his story. And what follows is an interesting, magical tale full of humour and warmth, which was definitely not what I(or Jackson) was expecting. I can't wait to read this book again with Neve once our Christmas tree is lit up, it really will bring the magic of Christmas to our home. 
24th November '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
5 stars
I had been watching the hype build up around this book and it made me very curious as to how the story would be told.  
I bought the book on Thursday and finished it this morning.  I love all things Christmas and encourage my children to continue to believe in Santa and the magic of the season.  
I will be sharing this book with them as part of our advent as it is just a lovely lovely story about how Father Christmas became Father Christmas.  It has comparisons with A Christmas Carol by Dickens but is not so similar to be predictable.  I love the characters and feel they were brought to life through the illustrations throughout the book.  They have a historical and old world charm about them. 
It is a great book that children will be able to identify with....who doesn’t have a friend who no longer believes? ...and who hasn’t tried to wait up to meet Father Christmas? Jackson’s friend no longer believes and so Jackson wants to wait up to see for himself. 
If you could meet Father Christmas, what one question would you ask? Well Jackson knows exactly what he wants to ask! How did you become Father Christmas?
So begins the story and the adventure....
There is one simple overall theme to take away.....”When you give something...and you don’t tell anyone...well, that good feeling stays with you for ever.”
Jackson has the best night with Father Christmas, learning his story, and takes away this message.  It is tempting to take credit but he realises the good feeling will then go.  
A story to end the disbelief once and for all. A true classic for the children of today! 
26th September '18
I read it to GummyBear2 aged 9 aged 9
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
5 stars
I loved reading this story to my youngest son and he loved hearing it. In fact he said he’s going to read it again to himself. It’s a beautiful book with the theme of Dickens Christmas Carol running through it. It has humour and also touching in parts. I can only imagine that when the book is published with illustrations it will only enhance the story. 
2nd October '18
I read it to Lollipop101 aged 10 aged 10
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
5 stars
We couldn’t wait until the festive season to read this little gem so we snuggled up one Sunday afternoon to start it and we didn’t stop until the end ! 
A truly magical Christmas read , ideal for children and adults alike to remind us about the magic of Christmas time ! 
What a delight ! 
2nd December '18
I read it myself (an adult) , to Brobee aged 6 aged 6 , to Toodee aged 4 aged 4 & to Class 3 aged 7 to 8
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
5 stars
If you want to feel the pure magic of Christmas retold in an up to date way, then this book is for you. Ben Miller has set the tone exactly right, with his main character, Jackson, as appealing to older and younger children alike. It's full of festive wonder and, if you're a grown up, I'd recommend curling up one evening and reading it in a sitting, preferably with a large mug of tea and some festive sweeties! A delight from beginning to end!
7th October '18
I read it to Sea Lions aged 8 to 11
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
5 stars
This is a Christmas Cracker of a story! I read this aloud to a group of nine and ten year olds and they loved it.

With a nod to A Christmas Carol, this is a fabulous feel good story, which children of all ages (and big kids!) will enjoy.  Perfect for bedtime or snuggling up on the sofa, this is sure to become a new Christmas classic.
8th December '18
Belllboo read it themselves aged 11 aged 11
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
5 stars
I love this book! It has made me feel so Christmassy and happy.  It is based on the story of a Christmas Carol but with a magical twist.  I hope they make it into a film.

The story was really good and the illustrations were amazing.  I think that I will end up reading this book next Christmas and the year after and the year after that.

I think that all ages of children will love this book and grown ups too my mum loved it as much as me. 
2nd December '18
I read it to Lions class aged 7 to 9
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
5 stars
I read this book in preparation to read it to a class of 8/9 year olds. 
It was a great read, it has traits of a well known Christmas story. 
It was funny and brought the story of Christmas up to date. I'm looking forward to reading it with my class! 
2nd January '19
I read it myself (an adult) & to Sindy aged 11 aged 11
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
5 stars
Jackson knows all about the flying reindeer, 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 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... 

Jackson decided that one Christmas Eve he's going to wait up for Father Christmas as he has so many questions to ask him. When the jolly guy in red arrives he is not exactly the person that stories and pictures depict, a little elf, dressed in red with a fat belly is who appears down Jackson's chimney. 
What follows is the story of how Father Christmas came about as Jackson has to help him deliver his presents due to an awkward fall down Jackson's chimney Father Christmas has twisted his ankle.
Torvil Christmas tells his story to Jackson on their travels around the world. 
The story of a town in the North Pole where an Elf shoe factory has closed down leaving all the elves out of work and Torvils story about how he changed from being a wicked, mean and rich toy shop owner to becoming Father Christmas.
I always try and pick up a new Christmas book to read at this time of year and up to a month ago nothing jumped out. For the past three years I've eagerly awaited Matt Haigs books about Father Christmas and felt there was nothing to touch the trilogy. 
So when I saw this book in Waterstones and read the blurb I decided to make this my new Christmas book.
The story centres around Jackson a boy who wants to know how Father Christmas became who he is today and Torvil Christmas a mean elf who eventually sees the error of his ways. The story is like a retell of Dickens A Christmas Carol but for children. Ben Miller takes the classic story and adds a magical twist.
21st November '18
I read it to NiaNoodlePoodle aged 4 aged 4
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
4 stars
I tissues Buddhism Shenandoah henchmen handheld Buddha's bushings hashish heed zone DVD
12th November '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
4 stars
This is a great twist on a well known Christmas story. I loved the comical elements and references in here that bring this bang up to date. I couldn't put this down! 
3rd October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
4 stars
I have read this myself and plan to read to my children in December - we love reading Christmas themed books at this time of year and this book will be a solid addition the the collection . A great adventure - beautifully written , very magical. 
2nd January '19
I read it to Bobbin aged 11 aged 11 & to Piglet aged 7 aged 7
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
4 stars
This is the story of a boy who one Christmas Eve meets Father Christmas and hears the story of how  he began delivering presents to children around the world. Having seen a fair amount of publicity for this book and the beautifully illustrated cover I decided that this would be a lovely book to read with my children.

However, like another reviewer, I don't run no it lived up to the hype. My elder son immediately said that the plotline was the same as the Matt Haig book ''A Boy Called Christmas', and indeed the premise is the same. There is also a scene early on where a child working in a bakery gives a loaf to a character who is hungry, which bears more than a passing resemblance to an early scene in The Hunger Games. And as the book progresses it becomes clear that this is a retelling of 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Darwin. My main issue would therefore be that the story lacks originality, and that it lacked a bit of direction at the start. I think it might have been better to have promotes this book as a children's retelling of the classic Dickens tale.

Ultimately my children enjoyed the story and it was an entertaining read. And I would definitely recommend reading the Matt Haig Christmas trilogy.
28th December '18
I read it to JFiglet aged 9 aged 9 & to EFiglet aged 6 aged 6
The Night I Met Father Christmas 9781471171536
3 stars
I was quite excited by this book - written by Ben Miller, I thought it would be well writen and funny, it had a beautiful front cover AND for once I wouldn't have change Santa to Father Christmas every sentence because here was a book about Father Christmas. It had promising reviews, I couldn't wait to read it to my children. However I felt very disappointed - the first Chapter we loved, it was funny, we were gripped and then it changed into a re-write of the Christmas Carol. Sigh. OK, it was well written and the Christmas Carol story all connected in the end. I liked the fact the chapters weren't too long and we could read three or four of a night, but as it approached Christmas, we were happy to put it down and read our " Christmas favourites" and pick it up again after Christmas. My six year old was more gripped than my nine year old, and they were recalling some elements of the story today to a lady they were chatting to - these were from the final chapter (which I have to say, I really liked, it was just a shame about everything inbetween). Would I recommend it? It was OK, but I wouldn't rush out to buy it, maybe borrow it from the library. There were a couple of illustrations in the book, but they were very spread out.
Show More (0)
ajax loader
Featured Book
Book pages The Good Thieves
The Good Thieves

Bestselling and award-winning author, Katherine Rundell, returns with a brilliant new story packed with adventure and excitement, recommended for ages 9+

View book
Featured Book
Book pages Cinders and Sparks: Magic at Midnight
Cinders and Sparks: Magic at Midnight

Perfect for readers of 7+, Cinders & Sparks is a fresh, funny and fabulous take on Cinderella, for everyone who loved Frozen and Shrek.

View book

About Ben Miller

Ben Miller is an actor, director and comedian, best known for writing and starring in The Armstrong and Miller Show and his role as Rowan Atkinson's sidekick, Bough, in Johnny English and also appeared on the big screen in the much loved sequel Paddington 2 alongside Ben Whishaw and Hugh Bonneville. His notable TV roles include starring in the first two seri...

More about Ben Miller

About Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini

Ben Miller is an actor, director, and comedian, best known for writing and starring in The Armstrong and Miller Show and his role as Rowan Atkinson's sidekick, Bough, in Johnny English Strikes Back. Other recent big screen roles include What We Did On Our Holiday with Billy Conn...

More about Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini

Ratings

    5 stars
  • (13 Reviews)
  • (4 Reviews)
  • (1 Reviews)
  • (0 Reviews)
  • (0 Reviews)