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The Father Christmas Letters Hardcover – December 31, 1976

15 customer reviews

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Hardcover, December 31, 1976
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Father Christmas lives! And never more merrily than in these pages." (The New York Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892–1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but even as he studied these classics he was creating a set of his own. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Grafton (December 31, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0048231304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0048231307
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.7 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,145,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I was looking forward to getting this book, and reading it to my children for Christmas. However, the actual edition was quite disappointing. For one thing, it is so small (3" x 3") that it is very hard to read, the pictures are hard to see. The reviews on the website implied that it was the full set of stories, with adventures about goblins. Indeed, the back of the book has an excerpt talking about goblins. However, the subset of letters in the actual book has none of the stories dealing with goblins! The stories that are there are nice, but often disjointed because they refer to previous years' events that are past, and there are too few stories, and the pictures are too small. If I had seen this book in a bookstore, I would not have bought it, but it was difficult to judge over the internet. I cannot recommend this book.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 1997
Format: Paperback
The appeal of this book is hardly limited to the under-10 age group, though one of my favorite personal memories is hearing it read aloud by my father. Tolkien brings his sense of magic and wonder to the tired old tale of a North Pole Santa Claus: instead of vapid reindeer with improbable noses, children will be fascinated by a Santa who must battle incompetent, mischevious elves, destructive polar bears, and above all the goblins that infest the tunnels under the North Pole. His only goal is to get the toys out by Christmas, and year after year the task becomes more difficult. The writing is vinage Tolkien (read: excellent) and the watercolor illustrations are exquisite and magical. This book is really too dark for young children (elves die in battles with goblins), but kids between the ages of 7 and 100 will love it forever
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
J.R.R. Tolkien was best known for his epic fantasy "Lord of the Rings" and his studies in myth and language. But Tolkien was also the proud dad of four kids -- and he didn't just read "Hobbit" to them at bedtime. Over the course of many years, he wrote and illustrated detailed, whimsical letters from Father Christmas, populated with a clumsy polar bear, elves and goblins.

In these letters, Father Christmas kept the Tolkien children updated with stories about the hijinks at the North Pole -- the slapsticky North Polar Bear and all the things he broke, firework explosions, the discovery of ancient caves full of old cave drawings, and battles with the goblins. (When Father Christmas couldn't write, his Elvish secretary filled in)

When reading these letters, it's hard to imagine any luckier kids in the Christmases of the '20s and '30s. After all, how many children gets detailed letters and pictures from Father Christmas -- complete with special stamps? Tolkien's love for his kids is evident in the care he took to create these letters, and the affection that comes from "Father Christmas" that is written in.

Tolkien's old-school style of writing is a bit formal and very correct, but he tosses in comments of exasperation, amusement, and in the last letter, a sort of sad resignation that children will grow up. Maybe it is because they were given to real children, not intended for publication, that the letters are only a little cutesy, and never cloying.

And of course, Tolkien's detailed, colorful, fantastical, intricate pictures are what make the letters come alive; you can imagine the Tolkien kids eagerly examining the pictures as well as the written words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Wilson on May 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is great for Tolkien fans and those who don't know his works. It has very cute illustrations and background info. I would suggest it for someone who loves to read Tolkien or for a child's Christmas present.
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By Jonathan on August 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Much different than I expected. Not just a kids book but an insight into Tolkens wonderful imagination in story telling for his own children. Love reading this as each page is a letter written to his children from Santa Claus once per year.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The illustrations alone would make this book a keeper, but the text of the letters is absolutely engaging. This is a treasure for readers of all ages.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Drogo Moss on March 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
. . .which will be a joy to hobbit-lads and lasses for many years to come. (Most "Big People" don't know that Father Christmas visits the Shire each Yule -- but he does!)
In this delightful book, the Master presents a series of illustrated letters sent from the North Pole each year to his children -- just in time for the holidays. In these letters, Father Christmas explains his difficulty in finding good help (thanks to the antics of the North Polar Bear); relates the true facts behind the great Northern Lights; and details frightening battles with the goblins who reside in caves under the Pole.
An excellent collection suitable for all ages (and guaranteed to instill in the youngest of hobbits a heathly desire to avoid goblins of all sorts!)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rollicking with only cartoony violence, the Tolkien Children were lucky to have a dad that would write such letters for them
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