Photo courtesy of amazon.co.uk
Christmas Eve brings a nativity-with-a difference to our UK television screens this year. 'On Angel Wings' an animated nativity story, is based on a book written by the much-loved children's author Michael Morpurgo.
'The story of Christ's birth is the best story about Christmas ever written,' Michael tells the Daily Mail today, 'but because we all know it so well I think people shy away from seeing it again.'
The cartoon took a year to make and features the voice of actor Michael Gambon as the shepherd boy Amos, who years later is recounting the story to his grandchildren.
'The character is me in a way,' says the author. 'I often put myself into the fabric of a story as the narrator. I'm usually the grandfather telling the story to a young person and I've done that ever since I was young. Now I don't need to pretend to be old.'
And this is how the story goes:
'One cold Christmas night, a shepherd recounts the magical story of how he came to be the first visitor to the newborn Christ child – ahead of the other shepherds, and in complete secret.
A deftly wrought re-working of the nativity story, Michael’s tale is rich in human detail. Quentin Blake’s watercolour illustrations ooze energy and atmosphere and perfectly complement this poignant story.'
Meanwhile cheering news for book lovers comes from the UK chief executive of Harper Collins this Christmas. Charlie Redmayne has slashed the number of celebrity memoirs he is buying to 'focus on fiction and children's books,' according to The Times newspaper this weekend.
So here's to the children of the future and a very HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL
*On Angel Wings Christmas Eve 4.15 BBC 1