Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Grimble at Christmas

Grimble at Christmas

Clement Freud
Illustrator:   Quentin Blake 
For ages 7 to 9
Random House UK, 2008   ISBN: 978-0224083683

Grimble's parents are incredibly forgetful. Most of the time this is rather a good thing, but when Christmas rolls around it becomes a problem because his parents are quite capable of missing Christmas altogether. Grimble, naturally, does not want this to happen, and so he sets about trying to make sure that his parents take their Christmas responsibilities seriously. Unfortunately they do not respond to any of his hints and comments. There is only one thing left to do – Grimble will have to take charge of planning for Christmas this year.

Making sure you have a Christmas celebration when you only have 19p and an Irish 5p piece is not easy to do. Grimble tries to make a little money by setting up a toast delivery service, but that does not work out that well. He attempts to buy a tree, but that doesn't work out the way he had hoped either. In fact, practically everything Grimble tries to do for Christmas falls flat. It is all very grim indeed.

In this hilarious book children get to meet a boy who desperately wants to have a traditional Christmas with all the trimmings. What he ends up with is quite the opposite. Clement Freud gets inside of head of this little boy so perfectly that readers will have no difficulty identifying with Grimble, and sympathizing with him. With Quentin Blake's wonderful drawings throughout, this is a splendid holiday title and it conveys, in a deliciously amusing way, an important message about Christmas and family ties.