Father Christmas Goes on Holiday – Raymond Briggs

More in the Series – Father Christmas
“More in the Series” scores the other books in a series where one (or more) of the books have made it into the 1001 Books list. Mostly because I’m a bit of a completionist. 

POINTS: 3 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 point
Variety of characters: 1 point
Good story:  2 points
Discretionary ideological points: 0 points.

This is the sequel to Briggs’ Father Christmas, and in this one, FC gets to go on holiday for the summer (which is his off season, I guess. It doesn’t pass the Bechdel, but there are several people in the illustrations (at least in the Vegas section) that are people of colour, so it gets a point for that. Only one of them (the guy who looks after the reindeer in Vegas) gets any dialogue, but there’s not a lot of non-FC dialogue in this book anyway.

Much like the first book, C didn’t seem to quite know what to make of this grumpy FC who hates the cold and shuns crowds of people. He really is just a crotchetty old British dude, at the end of the day, and while I am sure that’s more or less what Briggs was going for, there’s something about the casual xenophobia I find hard to accept. He whinges about the French food, he’s pretty keen on Scotland apart from the cold, and while he seems to quite like Vegas, it seems what he likes is that everyone leaves him alone.

There’s a distinct air that nothing is quite as good as Britain. British food, British weather. And while I get what Briggs is trying to do, I think, I still balk a little at a character like FC being painted that way. And apparently my son does too, since his comment was, “The real Father Christmas isn’t grumpy like that, is he Mommy?” No. No he isn’t. 😉

Still, Briggs is a master of what he does, and the illustrations and detail are really pretty wonderful. Not my favourite of his books by a long shot, but still very entertaining to read with the kidlet.

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