Our guest writer, Anna, brings us today’s Advent treat – a childhood favourite for many and a Christmas classic for all. We are delighted to present The Snowman by the late, great Raymond Briggs.
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. The beautiful animated film shown for 40 years on channel 4 has become for many an essential part of their Christmas celebrations. Our dvd version has David Bowie introducing it, adding to the charm.
The book upon which it is based is somewhat different from the film. Ever since my brother got Fungus the Bogeyman in his stocking one year, we have been huge fans of Raymond Briggs. Father Christmas, Father Christmas Goes on Holiday, and The Snowman, quickly followed that wonderful irreverent green snotty book onto our shelves of favourites. Sorting our Christmas books this year, I actually read The Snowman for the first time in awhile. As usual I was surprised by my reading being solely of the stunning succession of pictures, with no accompanying words, the film acknowledging that with its silent animation. But this time I also realised that the book is much less festive than the film. There is no Christmas tree, no Snowman party, no Father Christmas…
Essentially this seems to be a story of friendship, encapsulating the wonder and magic of childhood, but with an edge of things to come in its depiction of loss. Raymond Briggs at his best, never cute or sentimental with his readers however young they maybe. Despite this, the book remains cheek by jowl with all our Christmas titles, it’s message clear as a Christmas bell without the tinsel. And there’s always all that snow to fall back on.