Seven spooky stories for Halloween 11/10/21
Harvey Slumfenburger's Christmas Present
Publisher: Walker Books
Harvey Slumfenburger's Christmas Present is the sort of story that warms your heart – and is perfect for a seasonal snuggle.
The picture book shows Father Christmas realising that there's one final present he's forgotten to deliver on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, the reindeer are tired and sickly and now fast asleep in bed. He doesn't want to wake them. What can he do?
Determined not to let any child go without at Christmas, Santa sets off on an adventure that will see him relying on the goodwill of strangers to get him to where Harvey Slumfenburger lives: very far, far away.
Children will marvel at Father Christmas outside his sleigh in this sweet, endearing adventure, which involves all sorts of transport, from ski poles to motorbikes. The illustrations that show this journey are completely breathtaking – more painting than picture, as John Burningham evokes the landscape in all of its wintry, spine-tingling glory.
That it's the help of others (not magic) that gets Santa to Harvey Slumfenburger is this book's wonderful message. What's inside the present doesn't matter, either – just the generosity of the gesture. A Christmas classic, indeed.