There are those in my home who await a new Eoin Colfer title the way some kids wait for Christmas. When we saw that he had a new book coming out and it was a Christmas book, I can only tell you that the squealing around here was epic.
I’d planned to write a more thorough review for you, but it’s a little hectic right now, so here’s the publisher’s description for you:
Eleven-year-old Juniper Lane is thrown into a Christmas adventure like no other when she seeks the help of a mysterious woodsman living in her local park, who she suspects is Santa himself, and accidentally gets exposed to North Pole magic. Join a boisterous cast of characters―including a neighbor who always believed in Santa, a young reindeer in training, and a cutthroat crime boss out to steal Santa’s magic―on an unpredictable journey bursting with Eoin Colfer’s signature exuberance and merriment. Complete with cheerful, festive illustrations, this is a beautifully packaged tale of wonder, sure to inspire the Christmas spirit in the whole family.
My thoughts: Juniper’s Christmas was SO MUCH FUN. It had all the cleverness and fast-paced action we’ve come to expect from the author of Artemis Fowl, with a little more focus on the heart as well.
I also wanted to add that my kids have loved/are loving this book. I know sometimes reviews from teachers and librarians and writers are only so helpful—because we’re adults. We may be able to give you a good idea of whether our fellow adults will like a book—but will kids? Luckily, I happen to have a full range of readers living in my home, so when I can I will pass on their opinions to you as well! My sixteen-year-old zipped through Juniper’s Christmas before I got a chance, and she enjoyed it so much that she started reading it aloud to her younger siblings. The humor is lost a little on the 3- and 6-year-olds (and it’s a little scary for their tastes), but everyone eight and up is enthralled.
Finally, a word to my Christian readers. I know some of you have varying opinions on books about Christmas and Santa Claus. So let me clarify for you: Juniper’s Christmas is a story in the vein of Tim Allen’s The Santa Clause; Santa is a magical elf, not a saint or even a human. There is no mention made of Christ’s birth that I can recall (other readers, please correct me if I’m wrong). On the other hand, the book does an excellent job (like so many other stories from A Christmas Carol to The Grinch) of using a secular story to highlight certain themes that are very much a part of a Christian’s understanding of our Holy Season, and it allows those important themes to reach a wider audience. In Juniper’s Christmas, the primary one would be a reflection on how we treat the homeless and outcast. And yet it tackles that heavy topic with other seasonally-appropriate themes of wonder, faith, joy, redemption, and sacrificial love. You may not find an explicit mention of God here. But you will certainly find Juniper’s Christmas imbued with one of the messages we believe He came into the world to teach us: love your neighbor as yourself.
Hi! I'm Faith. I blog about books and creativity, family and faith. Welcome!