Advent Book Review Six: The Best Christmas Present In The World

In our sixth advent book the wondrous combination of Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman take us back to Christmas 1914, in the trenches of the Western Front. And something wonderful has just happened …

This is a beautifully written and stunningly illustrated retelling of a true Christmas story. The story of The Christmas Truce.

It is a story that should not ever be forgotten and should be shared with generations to come to ensure that we truly understand what our ancestors did for us in the world wars, what was given up that we may live and so that children understand the true spirit of Christmas.

Michael Morpurgo retells this story through a forgotten letter written by a young soldier to his girl at home.

The letter tells of Christmas morning ‘as cold and frosty as a Christmas morning should be’.

It tells of how in the middle of war young soldiers from both sides were making friends, making peace.

It tells how the men from both sides were so very young with families and ordinary jobs, musicians, teachers …

I find this book a moving way of making children understand just a little of what it must have been like for these young men, these boys, who gave up their lives for us. So many of the men featured in this story would never have made it home.

The letter tells of the now famous football match that the soldiers shared on this magical Christmas Day.

The end of this book is so moving. The letter long lost and forgotten is returned to it’s rightful recipient. The now very old lady who was the young soldier’s girlfriend.

A heartbreaking story yet one of hope. One of peace and goodwill among men.

A must read with children aged 9 and over.

Especially at this time of year when it is all too easy to take our own peace for granted.

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