Secrets Of A Christmas Box

It is the night before Christmas Eve, and the Fergusons have decorated their tree. Once they are asleep, the Tree-Dwellers (aka ornaments) come to life, getting reacquainted after spending a year in their special box. Larry, a glass snowman, is happy to be reunited with Debbie (an elf-like deer), and his pet Tinsel. He travels up and down the tree searching for his brother Terrence, but Terrence didn't make it to the tree this year. Larry isn't content to just let it go, and, with the encouragement of a new ornament named Splint, they do the unthinkable: they leave the tree. To find Terrance they have to get past the Tree Lord's army, out to the garage, and then back ... past the cat. Is this too much adventure for the Tree-Dwellers?

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Clever writing and lots of action will engage older kids who want a meaty Christmas story.

Content Awareness Factors:

Although there is lots of fantasy, this is not a classic fairy tale where no one gets hurt. Some kids who still believe that Christmas is "all goodness and light" could be surprised by some of the events.

Little Kid Reaction
Review pending.
Big Kid Reaction
This is a fascinating book. It offers a lot for older kids, and the author's care in telling the story brings the characters to life from their perspective, using words and actions that would be appropriate for them as living ornaments. This is a book for older children. Although Santa still lives in the story, and there is plenty of imagery for young listeners, there are events - like Terrence's "death" and the battle with the Tree-Lord - that might be a little too fierce. The humans are secondary to the story, but it would be nice if they were less stereotypical and had individual personalities. The parents' conversations seem pretty stilted.
Type of Book:
This is a picture for helping kids understand moods and feelings.
Educational Themes:
There are themes of friendship, loss, and acceptance, that round out this story that is meant for enjoying a Christmas story.
Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 to 13
Recommended Age To Read Together:
7 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is a clever story and would be fun to share in chapters over several nights to allow the suspense to build. I'm not sure I would buy it as a classic for my collection.

Title Secrets of a Christmas Box
Author Steven Hornby
Publisher Ecky Thump Books, Inc. © 2009
Illustrators Gabriel Hordos
ISBN 0981588301
Material Hard Cover
Cost $18.95
Genres Adventure, Fantasy, Holidays, Religion
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Other Reviews:

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