Following the success of his other festive favourites, including The Girl Who Saved Christmas, Matt Haig has delivered another comic gift for young readers – just in time for Christmas.
The Truth Pixie, as her name suggests, is always honest…brutally honest. This may seem a noble quality but, in her fantasy world of enormous trolls and ugly elves, it gets her into lots of trouble. She can’t even tell the tiniest of fibs so, when asked how an elf’s hair looks, or how a friendly troll’s breath smells, she has no choice but to tell the awful truth: ‘It looks like a thousand ugly wires.’ This is not a good way to make friends and the Truth Pixie soon ends up rather sad, and very lonely.
Written entirely in verse that mimics the metre of The Night Before Christmas, the story has a warm and festive tone that is well-suited to long winter’s nights in the Christmas holidays. There are strong seasonal themes of hope, kindness and good will, too, as the Truth Pixie meets a kindred spirit who helps her see the value of her gift.
Chris Mould’s illustrations are typically brilliant, simultaneously gruesome and adorable. Funny and frenetic creatures leap from page to page, in monochrome, dancing to the beat of the poetry.
At times, this poetry is rather forced; the author reaches for phrases to fit that don’t quite hit the mark: ‘If everything was perfect, every single day/ You’d never know the good from the just-about-okay.’ There is also occasional toilet humour, which, though it will tickle younger readers, rather contradicts an otherwise charming and whimsical tone.
Like the Grinch and Ebineezer Scrooge, The Truth Pixie heaps misery upon her companions but, deep down, is just a lonely so-and-so in need of a friend. She might not be a Christmas classic, but her story is lively and engaging with a catchy tempo that many children will enjoy…honestly.