Father Christmas

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

It's December 24th. But for poor Father Christmas, that means his hardest night of work is ahead. It's cold, he's tired - and there's so much to do.

There's a reason why this book has stayed a children's classic for over 40 years. It is 'blooming' funny to see Father Christmas slog through the night, growing ever-more grumpy and in need of brandy and mince pies.

Yet the soft comic-strip illustrations are rich with detail and moments of quiet joy. Children's faces peer excitedly out of suburban houses. Like advent calendar doors, the windows reveal balloons, mistletoe and Christmas puddings. Briggs captures the magical sense of being on the cusp of a glorious party.

Back home, after delivering the presents, we also get to see Father Christmas enjoy the little things in life: a good bath, some lovely grub, and a cuddle with his cat and dog.

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