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Virtually Christmas, by David Baddiel (audiobook)

Christmas has been taken over by big business. Winterzone now runs every aspect of the festive season with robots, drones and holograms. Etta’s dad works for Winterzone but she wants a proper Christmas like the ones her late grandmother told her about…
Virtually Christmas is a children’s book aimed at ages 7-12. The audiobook is mainly narrated by the author David Baddiel himself, with the characters voiced by a cast to bring them to life.
Computers and AI are taking over the world! (But don’t panic, it’s only fiction… 🙂 ) However, Etta has been told magical tales of Christmases long ago and wants to find the magic which is far away from the uniform, sterile Christmas offered by Winterzone. She finds Santa but needs to convince him to step back into the fray and fight to resume his past glory.
I liked the modern touch of technology but there is an important message about the real meaning of Christmas and the danger of consumerism. Due to the satirical nature of the plot, I think this book is best suited to children at the older end of the age category. There were plenty of laughs as well as some emotional moments, and a big pinch of festive magic!
Virtually Christmas is an entertaining and thought-provoking children’s book.

Virtually Christamas book cover

A HILARIOUS novel and the year’s most perfect festive gift—from million-copy bestselling author David Baddiel.
It used to be the most WONDERFUL time of the year, but for years Christmas has been taken over by Winterzone.
All the things that made Christmas special are gone: the human connection, the baubles passed down through generations, even the rubbish cracker jokes.
Instead, Christmas is run by robots, while 3D holograms of Santa Claus called Santavatars check if you’ve been naughty or nice—and on Christmas Eve, all of the presents are delivered by ZoneDrones instead of Santa’s reindeer!
But when they stumble on a curious clue, eleven-year-old Etta and her friend Monty find themselves thrown into a fight to bring back Christmas. Racing against time and against the might of Winterzone, they must find the real Santa—before the true meaning of the festive season is lost forever…

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