Book Review: Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Today’s holiday book review is Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R Tolkien. Here’s what it’s about:

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or some sketches.

The letters were from Father Christmas.

They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents everywhere; how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house.

Sometimes the Polar Bear would scrawl a note, and sometimes Ilbereth the Elf would write in his elegant flowing script, adding yet more life and humor to the stories.

This updated version contains a wealth of new material, including letters and pictures missing from early editions. No No reader, young or old, can fail to be charmed by the inventiveness and “authenticity” of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas.

The version of Letters from Father Christmas I read was beautifully done. With actual envelopes inside and all the illustrations included, it was like reading the real letters. The fact that Tolkien did this for his kids amazed me. The amount of work he put into the stories and the illustrations . . . WOW. And the polar bear Tolkien added to the usual mix of North Pole characters added to the charm of the letters. This collection shows a side Tolkien’s sense of humor I didn’t know he had. I was laughing out loud. I wanted to buy all my family and friends a copy as a gift this Christmas.

My Grade: A+

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