The Age of Not Believing: A Christmas Tale by Andrew Szlachetko
Charming children’s story promises to teach young readers that Christmas doesn’t have to lose its magic when they reach a certain age.
Thomas has reached the age of not believing, that difficult age when children start to doubt the magic of Christmas. After being teased by a group of boys about his visit to Santa’s grotto, a hurt Thomas decides he’s finally getting too old to enjoy the festive
season. But on Christmas Eve, Thomas is woken by a mysterious voice, pleading for his help. Walking towards the Christmas Tree, from where the voice is coming, Thomas finds himself magically transported to the strange land of Semdar. Here he finds a world in crisis; the wicked Torga has cast a spell to banish Christmas forever! Thomas discovers that Torga’s spell can only be broken by someone at the age of not believing. When he is captured by Torga’s terrifying silver wolves and taken to her castle, Thomas realises that the fate of Christmas in the land of Semdar is in his hands.
The Age of Not Believing is a colourfully illustrated book which seeks to remind children and parents of the true meaning of Christmas. The book’s author, Andrew Szlachetko, draws upon the traditions of British and European folklore to tell a fantastical tale in which the moral message it carries is integral to the story itself. As the narrative develops, Thomas chooses to forgive Torga for her wickedness, and in doing so brings the magic of Christmas back to Semdar. This simple act of kindness makes Thomas feel much more special than any gift has ever done, teaching young readers that the sense of goodwill we share during Christmas is the real key to its magic, not the presents we receive. In return for Thomas’s friendship, Torga casts a spell which allows the people of Semdar to retain the spirit of Christmas all year round, serving to illustrate that the lessons we learn and the bonds we form during the festive season should be extended throughout the year.
About the Author: Andrew Szlachetko was born in 1960 in Ealing, London, where he still lives today with his wife and thirteen-year-old son. Szlachetko works in the IT industry and this is his first illustrated novel for children.
About the Illustrator: Patricia Moffett has over twenty years’ experience as an illustrator. She has provided illustrations for many children’s books including MirrorStorm by Mike Wilks (Egmont Books) and Fairies by Alison Maloney (Carlton Books).
The Age of Not Believing (published by London Book Press, RRP £2.99 ebook) is available online at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, WHSmith.co.uk and other leading retailers. For more information please visit www.theageofnotbelieving.com.