An author and former children’s laureate has suggested that John Lewis may have copied his work for its Moz the Monster Christmas advert.

Chris Riddell, author of children’s storybook Mr Underbed, posted his comments on Twitter saying: “John Lewis helps themselves to my picture book.”

John Lewis’ advert features the story of a little boy, Joe, and the monster under his bed, Moz, who form an unlikely friendship when Moz keeps Joe from getting to sleep at night.

The department store chain’s Christmas advertising campaign has become an annual event in its own right in recent years, thanks to a string of high-budget, emotionally charged adverts.

This year’s cost around £7m, was directed by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry and featured The Beatles’ song Golden Slumbers, covered by British band Elbow.

Similarities have been drawn between John Lewis’ Christmas advertising and existing children’s books before.

In 2014, the retailer found itself facing criticism over its Monty the Penguin campaign, with some saying it bore resemblance to Oliver Jeffers’ bestselling children’s book Lost and Found. John Lewis dismissed the claims at the time.

A John Lewis spokeswoman said: “The story of a big hairy monster under the bed which keeps a child from sleeping is a universal tale which has been told many times over many years.

“Ours is a Christmas story of friendship and fun between Joe and Moz the Monster, in which Joe receives a night light which helps him get a good night’s sleep. The main thrust of our story is utterly different to Chris Riddell’s.”