Kid Christmas of the Claus Brothers Toy Shop
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Everything David Litchfield does is a winner as far as I’m concerned and this one is no exception. It features young Nicky and his three uncles: Louis, Hans and Levi, aka the Claus Brothers, the finest toy makers in all the land.
Nicky is now old enough to work for his uncles in their emporium behind which is their workshop. There, Uncle Hanz was to be found making the toys, Uncle Louis would check them and Uncle Levi had a special role: he added the magic sparkle to every single toy making it perfect for the recipient. From time to time Nicky would notice less fortunate children outside the shop peering in and on Christmas Eve, with the shop closed early, Nicky decides to follow the children. What he discovers saddens the boy greatly and he vows to give every child in the city a present to make them happy, even if only for one day.
Back in the Toy Shop, his uncles are agreeable to the plan and with huge sacks full of gifts, Nicky suddenly realises that delivering them is going to be beyond his capabilities. Or maybe not, thanks to another of his uncles’ creations.
Off he sets but then faces other difficulties on his journey pulled by reindeer that require frequent supplies of carrots. Will Nicky ever bring his plan to fruition? Happily yes: how else would the story of Father Christmas have come to be?
David’s illustrations are out of this world brilliant. Full of Victorian details to pore over, and combined with a story brimming over with kindness that will fill anybody lucky enough to read the book, with a wonderful seasonal glow.