Archive for January, 2016

ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS: MAKING A DIFFICULT JOURNEY

The Boy Who Became Father Christmas: The Story of Santa Claus

Written by James Wilmot

BoySanta,pic

The Prologue gives a hint as to how the story line will evolve. In this short story, the reader learns that Niklas was born at the foot of a mountain range. He lived in town with the wealthy and prosperous settlers. Once a year the mountain folk came down to trade with them Their meat, cheese, animal skins and wool were exchanged for the coal, wax, grain and oil the mountain people needed to survive.

Shortly after Niklas turned twelve, tragedy struck. Both his parents were killed in a house fire. Niklas discovers a grandfather he never knew existed; now Niklas’ life would be turned upside down. He must leave town and go live up in the mountain with his grandfather. After a rough period of adjustment, Niklas becomes skilled in woodworking and learns the ways of the mountain people. He becomes acquainted with the “wee folk” legends and the animals of the forest. The teen develops a strong friendship with a girl named Rose. Niklas discovers the joys of the Christmas season and ventures forth to embrace it. As the boy grows, he experiences love and loss while meeting the challenges of mountain living and surviving a test with the King of the Mountain.

Wilmot selects many of the Christmas legends and weaves them into a novella featuring characters that embody familiar traditions. A heartwarming and uplifting short story that can be enjoyed by middle grade, young adult and adult readers. Perfect read for sitting in front of the fire for a couple of hours.

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MONKEYING AROUND

The 3 Monkeys Christmas Treehouse (Monkey Tales Book 5)

Written by Rob “Nanook” Natiuk

3Monkeys,pic

This is my first time reading a book in this series. Delightful story about three monkey siblings, Booey, Fooey and Hooey and their Jungle friends. The book is an interactive reading experience with ample opportunities for the reader to pause and allow the listeners to blurt out their responses by repeating, singing, or animating the sounds and actions of the characters in the stories.

In the first tale the three siblings receive a gift from their Grandpa Monk. At first they are puzzled by the red, white and green Christmas balls and stringed lights. Booey, the female, figures out they must be ornaments for a Christmas tree like the one she saw in the town. So they set off to find the perfect Christmas tree. Readers will meet some of their friends like the gorilla, crocodile and turtle. In the end, they find the perfect tree right under their noses. Tale two finds our friends looking over their Christmas list. As they travel to Coconut Town, they sing clever monkey songs adapted to familiar Christmas songs like “Jingle Bells,” and “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” They knock on doors of animal friends seeking to find the true meaning of Christmas. Finally, they discover that, “ A friend in need is a friend indeed.” In tale three, wise old Grandpa Monk tells his grandchildren the story of Santa Paws in the Jungle with his circus wagon pulled by eight zebras. Will the siblings find presents under the tree? The fourth tale speaks of the let down feeling many of us experience in the days after Christmas. Our friends have already tired of their presents; they ponder their New Year’s Resolutions. What do they share with their readers?

This book is perfect for elementary school children. Older siblings can read to younger brothers and sisters or the family can share the reading experience. Young children will love the repetition and songs. I will be reading other books in this series. Very entertaining, clever, and highly recommended.

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