The Children’s Book Blog Christmas Countdown: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
For December I’ve decided to turn the children’s book blog into a sort of literary advent calendar. Every day of the month I’ll be posting a short recommendation of a wintry or Christmassy children’s book to warm your cockles or, in some cases, chill the blood. There’ll be something for readers of all ages, from picture books all the way up to YA. My choice for December 7th is Charles Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’.
An obvious choice, but for me this is and always will be the ultimate Christmas story. There’s barely a Christmas gone by when I haven’t consumed it in some form or other – even if Bob Cratchit is being portrayed by a puppet frog.
Just in case there’s anyone out there who doesn’t already know the story, it tells the tale of Victorian miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who is driven to re-evaluate his life after being visited by three spirits on Christmas Eve (well, four if you include the ghost of his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley).
When it was first published, the book tapped into a contemporary desire to revive Christmas as a time for merriment rather than sober prayer. In fact, the book played no small part in shaping the jolly, lavish feast day we still celebrate today.
While the story contains more than its fair share of snowy London streets and festive good cheer – though mostly not from Scrooge: ‘Bah! Humbug!’ – it also serves as a stark warning of what can happen to those who shun their fellow men. The chapter in which Scrooge encounters to Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come never fails to send a shiver down my spine.
Check back tomorrow to see which book is lurking behind the ‘calendar door’ for December 8th and catch up on my previous recommendations here
Rebecca Davies is a journalist and children’s author. She is currently working on a Young Adult fantasy novel set in Hackney. You can follow her on Twitter as @TheStoryMonsterTagged in: children's literature, christmas books, christmas children's books
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