When all the mince pies have been pulled and the last cracker scoffed; when you’ve poured yourself another stocking, settled down in front of a blazing turkey and need some Christmas entertainment, what could be better than the Cambridge Children’s Literature Students’ Blog Christmas Quiz?
Answers on Christmas Day!
Part One – Incidental Christmases in Children’s Books
What’s the title of the book and who’s the author?
1. Some pictures of Father Christmas in our world make him look only funny and jolly. But now the children actually stood looking at him, they didn’t find it quite like that.
2. “You know the reason Mother proposed not having any presents this Christmas was because it is going to be a hard winter for everyone; and she thinks we ought not to spend money for pleasure, when our men are suffering so in the army.”
3. Written in narrow, loopy writing he had never seen before were the following words:
Your father left this in my possession before
he died. It is time it was returned to you.
Use it well.
A Very Merry Christmas to you.
4. Perhaps because they had been working so hard, Christmas day seemed the loveliest they had ever known. Nothing was very different from other Christmases, but somehow it seemed a particularly gay day. Their stockings bulged when they awoke, and besides all the usual things in them, there were large white sugar pigs with pink noses and wool tails.
5. As the door opened, one of the elder ones that carried the lantern was just saying, ‘Now then, one, two, three!’ and forthwith their shrill little voices uprose on the air, singing one of the old-time carols that their forefathers composed in fields that were fallow and held by frost …
6. Those who stay awake long enough are rewarded by a momentary sound that never fails to draw a sharp intake of breath – the delicate tapping of hoofs descending on roof tiles .… But sure enough, there he is, the reindeer with no name: enormous, blind as a bat, sniffing under the TV aerial with infinite animal patience.
Part Two – Children’s Books with a Christmassy title or setting
Again, title and author? The last one is not a particularly well-known work, but there’s a good chance you can guess the author.
1. “Maybe Christmas”, he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.”
“Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”
2. It came right down the chimney and into the fireplace with a thump. “It’s Father Christmas!” cried one of the aunts. “No, dear,” said the other aunt, “Father Christmas does not have a tail.”
3. “If the fir tree is to be dressed as beautifully as possible, then it can’t be for the purpose of hiding it. The idea must be to placate the danger in some way. I’m beginning to understand.”
5. “Can you tell me why Christmas trees are never allowed any fun? Never allowed to join in and dance? … Poor, poor little Christmas trees.”
4. Blooming chimneys. Blooming soot. Blooming cats. Blooming cookers.
6. But it was not Father Christmas. As the bells rang loud and clear, some lights appeared over the wall of the Roman Camp. Loping towards them, seeming hardly to brush the snow with their paws, came a magnificent team of harnessed lions drawing a long sledge driven by a lady whose eyes shone like sparks of fire.
7. “Hark at Ann,” said Benny. “Come on, Ann, stop dancing about and get to work. Look you can hang some of this silver tinfoil in strips all over the tree… and after that you can put bits of cotton wool on it here and there so it looks as if snow has fallen on the branches.”
“Don’t put the cotton wool on till I’ve clipped on the candles,” said Susan, busy sorting out the clips. “You mustn’t put the cotton wool near the candles, in case it catches fire.”