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Festive Delights: I Killed Father Christmas

If you are looking for a festive first chapter book this Christmas then I Killed Father Christmas could be the perfect choice. Although it sounds a bit grisly, don't be put off, it really isn't! I Killed Father Christmas is in fact a lovely story which is full of humour and warmth. Written by award-winning author Anthony McGowan and illustrated throughout by the amazing, Chris Riddell, this fantastic first chapter book is great for reading alone or aloud.

Here's the blurb...

"A silly little sister
An old red coat
A pillow case of broken toys...

It's Christmas Eve and Jo-Jo's mum and dad are having the biggest argument ever - and it's all his fault. Jo-Jo has KILLED Father Christmas!

Whatever can Jo-Jo do to bring back the magic of Christmas?

A unique and tender-hearted Christmas story by a magical author-illustrator pairing."

So what did we think? 

Well, we thought it was fairly magical! The story begins with Jo-Jo's parents arguing, which is quite an unusual way to start a festive story for children but it reminds us of the stresses of Christmas and also that Jo-Jo is a normal boy, growing up in a normal family. 

The story quickly becomes full of humour as Jo-Jo, believing he has killed Father Christmas by asking for too many presents, tries to save Christmas himself. He starts gathering up his own toys and sweets to distribute. 

However Jo-Jo finds his new role of Father Christmas quite tricky. Fortunately the real man in red soon shows up and he has some wise words for Jo-Jo revealing "LOVE is the present!" And "You can carry enough love for the whole world in one heart... It doesn't matter... if it's the heart of a little boy, or a fat old man." A gentle reminder to us all of the true meaning of Christmas spirit. 

This heart-warming story is part of the Little Gems series of books from Barrington Stoke and, with beautiful colour illustrations throughout and jokes inside the cover, it is perfect for children aged 4-8 years old.

Thank you to Barrington Stoke for sending us a copy of I Killed Father Christmas and for introducing us to the Little Gems series. We still have lots of festive books to share with you as we countdown to Christmas so do keep reading! 

Kate & the Mini Reviewers xx


  1. Oooo I've not heard of this one, love Chris Riddell's illustrations!! Thanks for sharing with #readwithme

  2. I'm not sure if I would pick up a book with this title but I was very curious to read your review to see what the story is about. It sounds very true to life with Mum and Dad stressed and arguing but I like the way that it gives the message that Christmas isn't just about giving presents.


  3. Like Catherine says the title put me off but the story actually sounds great and uplifting. #TriedTested

  4. This sounds like a great book. Very true to life. hehehe x

  5. What a lovely sounding book! It's great that it has the mixture of kindness with a bit of real-life grumpiness thrown in.

  6. The title of this would put me off! Glad the story inside is better! #readwithme