OK, it’s not the most Christmassy book you’ve ever heard of, but your kid will thank you.
Neil Gaiman (“Sandman,” American Gods,” “Coraline”) has dipped into Rudyard Kipling’s well and created The Graveyard Book, a timeless story of an abandoned young boy raised by someone other than his parents. In this case, a graveyard full of ghosts. It’s not a bad life, really.
Bod, as a toddler, escaped from the murders of his family to find safety and guardianship surrounded by haunts and crumbling headstones. They teach him well (although some of the lessons are a few hundred years out of date) and through Gaiman’s seemingly effortless prose we watch him face wonders and dangers: a magical Danse Macrabre, the ancient Indigo Man under the hill, a new living friend, the carnivorous ghouls, and, most dangerous of all, the man Jack who killed his family and still seeks to finish the job.
The Graveyard Book is a fast read, which is good because before you read it to your child you’ll want to devour it yourself. It takes a graveyard to raise a child.