Friday, December 28, 2012
Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera
Hello out there - blog reader! I have made it! This is my 400th post and I have nearly reached 50,000 hits. I started my blog at the end of 2008 and I can only say I wish I had started it sooner. This is such a great way to record all the books I read and as a bonus it has allowed me to think a little more deeply as I read - thinking about how I will discuss a book or which quotes I might use. One more thing - thank you for reading my blog. Knowing I have an audience is a huge incentive to keep blogging.
I have been working through my favourite Christmas books so I will finish the year with one more title - Auntie Claus. This seems like a great choice because this book is such fun to read aloud and I read books aloud in my job every day, it has a timely message about giving and receiving and I did visit New York this year which is the setting for this book. There are also links between this book and Eloise which I reviewed recently and with The Empty Stocking which was a new discovery for me this year and which has a similar theme.
Sophie's family love Christmas. Mr Kringle is president of the Jingle Bell Bell company, Mrs Kringle owns the Mistle-toe-to Nail Salon and her brother is named Chris. The other member of the family is the mysterious Auntie Claus. Each year just after Halloween Auntie Claus disappears claiming to be going on a business trip. She does not return until Valentines day. Where does she go? Sophie decides to stow away in a packing box to uncover the truth but the truth is a huge surprise. Sophie arrives at the North pole and is assigned a job as a elf in the mail room. An announcement comes over the loud speaker that someone is needed to volunteer to visit the coal mines and pick up the B-B-and-G list - Bad boys and girls. Sophie volunteers but when she looks at the list she does not see her own name. Instead her brother Chis is on the list. "On his favourite day of the year, Chris would find only a stinky stocking filled with coal and gunk."
Here is an enthusiastic review. Here is the author web site for this book where you can hear an extract read by Ellen Burstyn and you can hear the author talking about her book on this short video. I have also discovered that there is a musical version of this book, there are two sequels and the illustrations have featured in Christmas window displays in famous US Department stores.
You might have been waiting for me to name my number one Christmas book. Well I think it is a three way tie - The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski and The Silver Christmas Tree by Pat Hutchins. Auntie Claus is certainly in my top ten so you should plan to read it next Christmas or even sooner if you are still in a festive mood.