Matilda Mouse lived deep in the forest.
She poured the last of her milk into a thimble and left her only mince pie out for Santa.
She hung up her stocking and looked around her threadbare house.
More than anything, she wanted a Christmas tree.
Matilda Mouse is poor but she prepares her last food for Santa, who will be visiting soon. She goes into the cold winter forest to find herself a tree. Narrowly avoiding being eaten by an owl, she happens across Rudolph. He tells her that Santa and his sleigh are caught in vines. Matilda abandons her search for a Christmas tree and secretly helps Santa. She’s too tired to do anything afterwards except crawl into bed. At dawn on Christmas day, she wakes to a very big surprise. Illustrations are soft and loose and combine traditional Christmas colours with soft mauves and blues reflecting the winter world.
Virtue, so the saying goes, is its own reward, but that’s not a message that’s very easy to convey. Matilda Saves Santa Claus introduces this notion as poor but hardworking Matilda seeks out a Christmas tree even if there will be nothing to put under it. She without hesitation abandons her quest to help Santa. It’s unstated, but she is clearly acting to facilitate Christmas deliveries to all homes, not just her own. She doesn’t look for reward, indeed she hides from Santa, but in the morning she is rewarded handsomely. Recommended for preschool and early-schoolers.
Matilda Saves Santa Clauss, Alex Field ill Sophie Norsa 2013 ISBN: 9781921928604
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author and bookseller