The Best Christmas Present in the World
Michael Morpurgo, ill. Michael Foreman
London, Egmont, 2004, 39p
Another masterpiece from Michael Morpurgo. The book itself is beautiful - a small, square hardback covered with Foreman's brilliant artwork. And inside, is a lovely story of hope and love.
The Best Christmas Present in the World is a short story, in which a man finds a wartime love letter in a cluttered antique shop, and seeks to reunite the message with its intended recipient.
The letter is typically Morpurgoan, telling the tale of soldiers on the front line during Christmas in World War One. The events of that day are legendary already, but Morpurgo's re-telling is poetic. He describes the approach of the Germans across no-man's-land, and their day spent playing football and drinking. Morpurgo shows that, even during times of war, peace can come to those who need a little love and hope.
Foreman's artwork is beautiful, just as it was in A Medal for Leroy. He fills the space around Morpurgo's words, bringing the story to life, making it leap from the pages.