If you are looking for a children’s book that encapsulates Christmas then you definitely need Ben Miller’s Diary of a Christmas Elf. This is a beautifully written festive adventure with stunning illustrations too. As the title suggests this is a diary, and it is formatted as such, with the story broken up into date entries by Tog, who is the books main character, as he shares significant events in his life.
Tog the Elf longs to become a toymaker for Father Christmas, but as he waits to hear back from having applied he occupies himself by making Sloth soft toys for the children in the village, after going out of his way to make one for his younger sibling to replace theirs that got misplaced. One sloth becomes more and more sloths, and Tog takes comfort in knowing that he is bringing happiness to children by hand crafting them the toy they have requested, which is exactly what the elves are busy doing in Father Christmas’ workshop.
When a chance encounter at the craft shop leads to Tog getting invited to a work trial amongst Father Christmas’ toymakers, it starts a chain of events that see him accused of stealing, locked up in jail, sent to prison, breaking out of prison via a drone, and looking to prove his innocence, and clear his name. Tog is a very special elf, especially as he is truthful where as some as less so, and he is willing to bring joy and happiness to children everywhere even when it is costing him personally – and even endangering himself in the process too.
The combination of the diary format alongside the pacey adventure that Tog embarks on ensures that all stages of readers are invested in finding out whether Tog is successful in achieving his dreams, and able to uncover the truth as to who is responsible for the crime he has been accused of, as well as others that have yet to be solved – all with the intention of ruining Father Christmas’ reputation, and stopping presents reaching children across the world on Christmas eve, which is not something Tog is willing to let happen, and he has some very special help along the way.
This is the perfect story book to excite children in the build up to Christmas, as well as one they will enjoy after the event, and offers readers of all ages an insight into the world of the elves at the North Pole with an underline message of kindness, and teaching readers the importance of honesty, believing in themselves despite obstacles they face, and of course about the hope and joy of Christmas time.
There’s nothing nicer than on a cold dark night snuggled in bed with a Christmas book, so when this one came out I couldn’t wait to do just that.
I do like it when a new Ben Miller book comes out, you know you are going on an incredible adventure. This is no different, this time we’re off to the North Pole to meet Tog, a young elf who is starting a dream job as a toymaker for Father Christmas.
But of course things do not go smoothly.
Ben Miller is a wonderful author, he knows exactly how to write for children. The illustrations are beautifully drawn and help make the reading experience joyful.
Diary of a Christmas Elf is published by Simon & Schuster, and is available to purchase from all good booksellers, priced at £9.99 (rrp) for the gorgeous keepsake hardback edition.